3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
One 12 pound Butterball Turkey
2 cups of good Chardonnay
12 tablespoons butter, browned and cooled to solid room temp, for melting
1 Indian River Natural Navel Orange, rind removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Make sure your turkey is thawed! It can take a few days to thaw a turkey (usually 1 day per 5 pounds!) so plan accordingly.
In a bowl, stir together the kosher salt and sage.
A day or two before making your turkey, pat it completely dry with paper towels. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. You can place paper towels on the sheet to absorb any liquid that drips. Place the turkey on the wire rack and use the dry brine – separate the skin from the meat and rub the brine directly on the turkey breast and legs. Sprinkle some inside the cavity. Rub it all over the skin. Place the turkey uncovered (yes, uncovered!) in the fridge – make sure it’s not touching anything. Doing this will result in deliciously crispy and golden skin! This can be done for 24 to 48 hours.
When you’re ready to cook the turkey, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Take the turkey out at least 60 minutes before. You can pat it dry with paper towels if needed, but do not rinse it. Truss the legs together. Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast-side up. At this point, you can fill the cavity with stuffing if desired. If you choose not to do stuffing, you can add a mixture of fresh herbs, like sage, thyme and rosemary. Or you don’t have to do anything! Tuck the wings under the turkey.
Combine the 12 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan with the orange rind. Heat until melted and the butter begins to sizzle. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the Chardonnay and the melted butter with orange rind. Take a piece of cheesecloth and fold it until you have a 4-layer, 12-inch square. Submerge it in the wine and butter and let it soak for 10 minutes. Rub the turkey all over with the softened butter. Remove the cheesecloth from the wine butter and barely wring it out. Cover the turkey breast with the 4 layer cheesecloth. Roast for 30 minutes. Baste the turkey with the remaining butter and wine mixture in the bowl.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Roast the turkey for 1 hour 45 minutes or about 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the butter and wine in the bowl, or the drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan.
After 2 hours, gently remove the cheesecloth. Continue to baste the turkey liberally with the drippings or the butter and wine leftovers. Roast it for about 60 more minutes, until the temperature taken in the thigh reaches 180 degrees F.
Once the turkey is finished, let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing.