During holidays, the smell of roasting turkey deliciously fills the house with warmth, festivity and excitement. The sight of the gorgeous, golden brown turkey coming out of the oven and being placed on the the table is even more enticing. How watery my mouth gets with the anticipation of putting the turkey in my mouth. Many times, however, I wish the turkey meats would be a bit juicier, especially when I chew on the turkey with no gravy or cranberry sauce. With that thought, today I’m making an oven-roasted turkey a bit differently to help keep its meats as tender and flavorful as a deep fried turkey.
First, I dissolve 2 cups of salt and 2 cups sugar in 2 gallons of water and soak a 15 lbs turkey in that water overnight (1 lb meat per 1 hour to soak x 15 lbs = 15 hours) in the refrigerator. Next morning, I pat dry the turkey with paper towels both inside and outside. Separately, I mix ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, the juice of 3 lemons, 12 minced garlic cloves, 1/3 cup herb de Provence and 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper. Then, I rub the turkey inside and out, as well as where I can reach under the skin with this wet spice mixture. Then, I soak the cheese clothes in the extra virgin olive oil and cover the breast to keep it moist inside the oven. Finally, I slowly roast it at 250F for 7-8 hours. When the thermometer reads 180F deep in the thigh, it’s done and ready to be served!
I am pairing this brined and slow roasted turkey with a 2007 Viansa Athena Dolcetto from Sonoma, California. As you may remember from my previous post (link here), Dolcetto is a very food-friendly wine that can easily accompany both mild fish and many other meats. Packed with dried cherry and raspberry flavors, the wine’s moderately bright acidity and low tannin gives a soft mouth feel. It pairs very well with the both dark rich meats and the white light meats of the turkey without overpowering the flavors. So, whichever parts of the roasted turkey meats your guests take from the Christmas dinner table, Dolcetto will keep everyone happy. I hope you enjoy the flavors and texture of brined and slow roasted turkey with this wine pairing. Wishing your holidays be filled with much joy and warmth. Happy holiday cooking!