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Turkey Two Ways

Cooking the turkey in sections is an easy way to make sure that both the white and dark meat stay tender and juicy. For an alternative way to flavor the turkey, omit the dry brine and spiced turkey rub. Instead, use our turkey brine mix and prepare a liquid brine according to the package instructions, then brine all of the turkey pieces in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours. Remove the turkey pieces from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Cook the thighs and drumsticks as directed below. Roast the turkey breast as directed, brushing it with our cider bourbon roasting glaze every 10 minutes during the last 30 minutes of roasting.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh turkey, 16 to 18 lb., neck and giblets removed
  • 6 to 8 Tbs. dry brine
  • 2 Tbs. spiced turkey rub
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 Tbs. peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 quarts canola oil, or as needed

Directions:

Remove the legs from the turkey and separate into the thighs and drumsticks. Remove the wings. Using kitchen shears, cut through the ribs under each side of the breast to remove the breast from the backbone, creating a whole bone-in breast. Reserve the wings and backbone for making stock, if desired.

Rub the thighs and drumsticks with the dry brine and brine according to the package instructions. Rub the skin of the turkey breast with the spiced turkey rub. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 300°F.

Remove the thighs and drumsticks from the refrigerator; rinse and pat dry. Place them in a wide 6-quart stainless-steel pot. Add the garlic cloves, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and peppercorns. Pour in enough canola oil to completely cover the turkey pieces. Cover the pot with the lid and transfer to the oven. Bake until the drumstick meat is pulling away from the bone and the meat is fork-tender, about 4 hours. Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Let the thighs and drumsticks stand in the covered pot while you roast the turkey breast.

Meanwhile, remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.

Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Roast until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Increase the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on top. Remove the thighs and drumsticks from the pot and place, skin side down, on the rack. Broil the turkey pieces, turning once, until well browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Carve the breast, thighs and drumsticks and arrange on a warmed platter. Serves 12 to 14.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.