I don’t really ever post a second time about a recipe unless I’ve made a change or I’m trying to improve it in some way. That is not the case with this one but in ready my post last year, I wanted to post again and make a few other comments. You can read the blog post from last year, which links to the recipe, here.
Given how well the turkey turned out last year I decided I would do it the same way. There were a few slight changes this year but nothing out of the ordinary. I used a 16.5 pound turkey which I think was a little bigger than last year. Due to circumstances, it was in the brine for about 21 hours as I had to come home over lunch to get it ready on Wednesday.
For the spices in the cavity, I ended up using fresh sage and about 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary. I went to two different store looking for fresh rosemary and they were both out. I wrapped the spices in a cheesecloth and placed it in the cavity on top of the apples and onion. The cinnamon stick stayed out since it had been microwaved with the apple and onion.
A couple of comments on the actual baking. I didn’t mention it last year but when you stick an oil covered turkey in a very hot (500 degree) oven), it’s going to smoke a bit. We needed up opening a window with a fan to clear it out. If/when we ever get to remodel the kitchen I’m putting a real hood over the stove that vents to the outside. Not one that blows it right back into the kitchen.
For the cooking time, last year I was a little confused as to the exact amount of time needed and ended up with a turkey that was done early. That’s a great problem to have but it did throw off the rest of the cooking. Fast forward to this year and in re-reading the recipe I decided it wasn’t all that confusing and that the total time would be around 2 1/2 hours. So, I planned accordingly, as the stuffing needed to cook for almost an hour, plus other stuff. The turkey was definitely done in about 2 1/2 hour. It stayed in the oven a bit longer as I finished the stuffing. It sat for about an hour, covered, on the stove while the rest of the food cooked. It stayed hot, and juicy, until I carved it.
Overall, I was very happy with this turkey (again). I did feel like it was a tad bit dry once I got around to eating it (and it had cooled more on the platter). However, I am likely my own worse critic since everyone else thought it was great. I definitely recommend this recipe.