f you want to serve the perfect turkey, said the San Francisco Chronicle, you want to brine it first. Trust us—"several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen" and a brined turkey comes out best. Every year since, we've retested the recipe, and it works every time.
And there are plenty of options for making your brine, said The Washington Post. Try making your salt solution with duck stock and apple juice. "The acid in the apple juice will also help denature some of the proteins and connective tissue, and the sugars will increase the browning of the skin."
There's more than one way to salt a turkey, said the Los Angeles Times. Sprinkle the turkey inside and out with Kosher salt, seal it in a 2 1/2-gallon bag and refrigerate it for a few days before cooking, and you'll end up with a bird that "has concentrated turkey flavor and fine, firm flesh and that's delicious as is. But you can add other flavors as you wish."
Whatever method you use, said The New York Times, turkey is tricky. "Overcooking is irreversible," so when in doubt undercook and put it back in the oven "if the juices run pink when it's cut." And turn down the heat if you're cooking a heritage or wild turkey, since they have less fat and burn easily. Most importantly, "forswear revelry for the last hour of roasting and stand guard over the turkey. It can go from just right to overcooked in five minutes."
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