This is my favorite recipe for cooking our holiday turkey. I used this recipe about 13 years ago and have been the official turkey cooker in our family ever since. This recipe would also be great with one of our chickens! As always, keep careful eye on the meat temperature so you don’t overcook!
Brine bird for 24-48 hours as desired.
6 sticks unsalted butter. Cut one stick into pats and melt the other 5.
One 750-ml bottle dry white wine
Cheesecloth – grocery store variety (loose weave)
Place rack on lowest level in oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, 4-layer square. Immerse cheesecloth in the butter and wine; let soak.
Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Fill large cavity and neck cavity loosely with stuffing if desired. Place pats of butter between skin and meat of turkey, spreading them evenly.
Take cheesecloth out of liquid and spread it evenly over the breast and about halfway down the sides of the turkey. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Using a baster, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to cook, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices; if the pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserving them for gravy.
Continue to baste chicken with wine/butter every 30 minutes. Carefully remove cheesecloth for the last hour, watching turkey carefully to prevent burning.
When done, let rest for about 15-20 minutes before carving.