You want tender turkey? Brine, brine, brine! I found this wonderful secret and haven’t looked back since.
The night before you plan to roast it, in a small pot put in 1 cup salt, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp sage and 1 Tbsp black pepper. Add enough water to fill and just bring to a good boil, then pour in a big enough pot that turkey will be completely submerged when filled with water. Let cool a bit then add another pot full of cold water (You want it to be about a third full), stir well. You can throw in a couple ice cubes if you’re in a hurry, but I usually don’t and you’ll see why in a minute. Place fresh or defrosted turkey in the big pot and then fill with cold water until turkey is covered. (I actually place my frozen turkey in 2 nights before, hence no ice.) 4 hours before you’re ready to roast, take the turkey out and rinse it well, then pat dry with paper towels. Rub with a little oil, (I really like olive oil). Set to the side and make your dry rub. The basics are 1 teaspoon of everything that you like in your spice rack. Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, sage, paprika and parsley, whatever etc. (I also added Mrs Dash original, Old Bay garlic and herbs and granulated chicken bouillon because I like it). Pat all over the bird. Place breast side down on a rack in a roaster pan and refrigerate (the 4 hours). 15 minutes before you’re ready to roast, take it out of the fridge and just let it sit. Pop into the oven at 425 degrees for 1 hour, then decrease heat to 325 degrees and flip turkey over on it’s back. Roast according to weight directions, checking every hour for brownness, tent with aluminum foil if it gets crispy brown before completely done. Voila! Yummy juicy turkey!