one 10-12 pound turkey— (if using a bigger one, cooking time needs to be increased)
For the herb butter:
2sticks of butter softened
juice from one medium lemon
3garlic cloves pressed
1apple— , sliced but not peeled
1small onion— , peeled and quartered
1small orange— , quartered
parsley and thyme springs— (optional)
For the dry brine: Start 48 hours before you have to roast the turkey.
You can brine the turkey in the fridge even if it is still frozen, but I did defrost mine.
Remove turkey from the package. Remove the neck and bag of giblets. Rinse and pat dry. Measure about 1 tbsp salt and spread it inside the turkey. (You can use gloves here) - using your hands rub generous amount of salt over the whole turkey. Make sue there is a lot of salt over the breast. Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for 24 hours.
After 24 hours remove the turkey from the bag and wash it very well, so there is no salt left. Dry with paper towels. Place in a deep bowl and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours. This will make the skin very crisp.
Take turkey out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
For the herb butter:
In a bowl combine butter, lemon juice, pepper, parsley, garlic and thyme. Mix to combine.
Using a spoon, gently separate the skin from the beat around the breast at the front and back of the turkey. Using your fingers, spread some of the butter between the breast and the skin. Evenly spread the remaining mixture over the whole turkey. Stuff the turkey with the apple, onion, orange, garlic, thyme and parsley. You may want to tie the legs together so the cavity is closed, using a baker's twine.
Spray some olive oil on top if the turkey and sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper.
To roast the turkey:
Preheat oven to 425F. Place rack more towards the bottom of the oven. Grease a baking dish with some oil. Line the bottom with sliced onion, carrots and parsnips (optional). Roast turkey for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste. If the turkey has not released enough juice, you can baste with 1/2 cup chicken stock initially.
Turn the oven temperature down to 350F and continue cooking the turkey. Bake for 2 hours and 30 minutes for 10-12 pound turkey. Baste every 25-30 minutes. When the breast starts to turn golden you can cover it with aluminum foil, so it doesn't burn. (Make sure you spray the foil wit some oil, so it doesn't stick to the skin and tear it off).
The turkey is considered cooked, when a thermometer inserted reads 160 F for the breast and 180 F for the thighs. Once you reduce the temperature, it takes around 13 minutes per pound for the turkey to cook.
Once the turkey is cooked, transfer to a plate or cutting board and let it cool for at least 20 minutes. Carve, serve and enjoy.
Baking time: 10 to 12 pounds: 2½ to 3 hours 12 to 14 pounds: 2¾ to 3¼ hours 14 to 16 pounds: 3 to 3¾ hours 16 to 18 pounds: 3¼ to 4 hours 18 to 20 pounds: 3½ to 4¼ hours 20+ pounds: 3¾ to 4½ hours