Buttermilk Brined Turkey
Our thanks to our very own cave manager Anthony Pepe for this one!
Put a 10-12# turkey into a container big enough to hold it and with enough room to cover it with liquid.
Remove giblets and heart/liver from inside of turkey and reserve for another use.
Cover the turkey with Animal Farm Buttermilk (a 10-12# bird will require about 2 quarts buttermilk) and make sure buttermilk covers the entire bird. Seal the lid of the container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 2 days.
Remove the turkey from the buttermilk and discard the buttermilk. Rinse the turkey under cold water until all the buttermilk is rinsed off, then pat dry with paper towels and set on a large baking sheet or roasting rack.
Salt the skin and inside of the bird liberally with coarse salt and place on sheet or rack, uncovered. Place in the fridge and let sit uncovered for 24 hours. This step ensures that the bird will be salted throughout and the skin will crisp up nicely.
About an hour before you are ready to cook the turkey, take it out of the fridge and leave it on your counter while the oven preheats. Heat the oven to 425.
Rub olive oil over the entire skin area of the turkey and coat it with pepper and/or any other spices you choose, remembering to not add more salt because it has already been salted.
If you are stuffing the bird or putting any spices/onions, etc, in the cavity, now is the time to do that, but this can also be done unstuffed.
Cook at 425 for 30 minutes and then bring the oven temp down to 350 and cook for 3-4 hours until a meat thermometer reads 165 in the breast.
Take the turkey out of the oven when it’s done and let it rest for 45 minutes on a cutting board before carving.
*CHEFS NOTE! The buttermilk causes the skin to become very dark brown. This is what you want. Don’t be alarmed…it’s the natural sugars in the buttermilk that cause this and it does not mean that the bird is burning. If it gets too intensely dark, you can tent the bird with foil for the remaining 30 minutes of cooking.
Butter Pie Crust
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
- 4 oz cold ploughgate salted butter broken into one inch pieces
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if necessary
Combine butter sugar and flour in food processor. Transfer to bowl and add ice water and mix until combined. Roll into a ball and cover with Saran Wrap then put it in the fridge for at least one hour
Oven Baked Sausage Stuffing
Our thanks to Chris Bradley, chef extraordinaire for this one!
If you’d prefer a meatless option just leave the sausage out. No need to make any other adjustments.
- 3 lbs sourdough bread, cut in 1 in. cubes
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 6 oz loose breakfast sausage
- 2 cups celery, diced
- 3 cups yellow onion, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 whole eggs
- salt and pepper
Spread the cubed bread on 2 baking sheets and toast in a 325 degree oven until golden brown and delicious (henceforth GBD). Transfer the bread to a large mixing bowl.
Melt 1 oz of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and allow to brown stirring occasionally. Remove from pan once fully cooked and drain away the fat. Add 2 oz of butter back into the same pan, melt and add the celery, onion and garlic to the pan. Cook until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add sausage to the pan and then place everything in the mixing bowl with the bread.
Blend the stock, buttermilk and eggs together with a whisk. Pour the liquid over the bread and add in the sage and parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper and then mix thoroughly and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Rub the bottom and sides of two 10in x 15in casserole dishes with the remaining butter. Divide the stuffing between the two dishes, cover with foil and place in a 325 degree oven. Bake until fully set (30-40 minutes) and then remove the foil. Continue to bake until GBD (15-20 minutes).