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How to Make 1789’s Thanksgiving Turkey

Tasked with the daunting job of handling the turkey this year? Fret not. We stopped by Georgetown’s 1789 for a demonstration from executive chef Daniel Giusti. In our video below, Giusti shows everything you need to know about properly preparing the bird, from brining to trussing, basting, and carving. You’re welcome!

Thanksgiving Turkey

1 13-to-14-pound turkey

For the brine:
6 cups kosher salt
4 cups sugar
3 gallons water

For the seasoning:
2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons pepper
½ pound salted butter, melted

Make the brine: Combine the salt, sugar, and water in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Remove the brine from the heat and set it aside to cool. Pour the brine into a container large enough for the turkey. Completely submerge the turkey in the brine and let it sit for 12 hours. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

When you’re ready to roast it, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the bird on a roasting rack and season with salt and pepper. Using a brush, paint the turkey with melted butter until it’s evenly coated.

Turkey cooks at approximately 12 to 15 minutes per pound, so roast for about three hours. Cook until the breast meat reaches 160 degrees. Remove the turkey and let it rest for 10 minutes. Take its temperature again and make sure it has reached 165 degrees. It’s very important that the temperature hit 165 degrees to ensure that it’s properly cooked. Carve the turkey and serve.

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