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Belize Dry-Brined Thanksgiving Turkey

This Little Goat went to Belize
This Little Goat went to Belize

yields

8-10 servings

time

15 hours (includes brining time)

active time

30 minutes

ingredients

1 fresh Thanksgiving turkey (about 14-16 lb.)

Kosher salt

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 cup This Little Goat went to Belize, divided 

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened 

3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 bulb fennel, fronds removed and chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 lemon, quartered

instructions

Goat Tip - If roasting a larger or smaller bird, we recommend these proportions for your dry brine: use 4 tsp salt, 2 tsp Belize spice and 1 tsp sugar for every 5 lb. of turkey.

Unwrap the turkey and remove the neck and gizzards (reserve if making your own gravy - we recommend checking out our delicious Hong Kong Croissant Gravy!). Rinse turkey under cold water and pat dry. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting dish.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup salt, 2 Tbsp Belize spice and 1 Tbsp sugar. Rub spice blend all over your turkey and inside the cavity. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours, up to 2 days (the longer it sits the deeper flavor it will achieve). Rinse well, then pat to dry (or let sit out to dry).

In a small bowl, combine the butter with remaining 2 Tbsp Belize spice, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and thyme. Mix until well combined. Rub 2/3 of the compound butter all over the turkey, making sure to get under the skin and inside the cavity. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and disperse the onion, fennel, carrots and lemon around the turkey and inside the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under to prevent from burning (or wrap the tips in aluminum foil) and tie drumsticks together with twine. Pull out the thermometer probe that comes with the turkey and replace it with a kitchen thermometer in the same spot, or in the deepest part of the turkey.

Roast, basting with additional compound butter every 30-45 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and your thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 3 - 3 1/2 hours (your turkey will continue to cook once it’s out of the oven). If any part of the turkey is getting too dark, tent with foil. (As a general rule of thumb, it should take about 15 minutes of cooking time for every pound of turkey).

Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

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