MY MOM’S BEST
For the Brine:
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
5 bay leaves
2 tablespoons black pepper corns
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
Dissolve brine in 2 qts. Boiling water. Once dissolved, add in 1-2 qts. more water (depending on size of bird. Place turkey in a large Ziploc storage bag or baking bag, and when the brine is cool (you can add ice cubes to speed process) pour over the bird and make sure it is entirely covered. Let bird sit in brine for 12-24 hours. Remove, rinse and roast normally.
Roast in roasting pan or bag for 4hrs at 325 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in skillet, add 2 tablespoons of flour, stir until blended and begin adding, liquid from turkey and follow with stock from giblets. (Giblets cooked by covering with water and adding about 1 small chopped onion, salt and pepper) Stir gravy until thickened over med/high heat. Reduce heat, add chopped meat from neck of turkey, salt and pepper to taste.
**Just so you know, the judges said that Mom’s was one of the top two turkeys of the day. Take that, deep-fried-burnt-turkey-winning family.
OYSTER STUFFING ala BRENDA**
2 bags of soft cubed stuffing mix
1 pt. of fresh oysters chopped
1cup of chopped celery
1 cup of chopped onion
2 tsps ground sage
1 tsp. ground thyme
1 cup of butter
1 cup stock (chicken, turkey, or vegetable will work)
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, sauté celery and onions until clear and softened. Add the cubes to the mixture and the sage and thyme, turning it over and over until coated, add the oysters and liquid, stir up well and add water if needed for moisture, Mixture should be soft but not mushy cook for a couple of minutes and when the cubes begin to brown, transfer mixture into the turkey to stuff,
Place the remaining stuffing in an 8 x 8 sq. pan and cook for 35 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees.
**John Besh LOVED this stuffing. Go, Mom! Funny story: We forgot to put the oysters on our ingredient list for the Food Network to shop for us. (There was and INSANE amount of paperwork and very little time to complete it all.) We realized at 11pm the night before the competition. Chef Dan, head of catering for the day, came through - in spite of a debilitating, potentially fatal shellfish allergy - and somehow got us perfect oysters in lovely, landlocked Denver, CO.