Anyway, years ago I made a buttermilk-brined turkey. I had often soaked my chicken in buttermilk before roasting and I thought the turkey idea sounded great. And it was. The recipe was from Williams-Sonoma and that was how I first made it, using their store brine. Over the years I have dry-brined and wet-brined with various recipes, but my family still likes this buttermilk brine the best. So, this year I used the basic recipe with my own tweaks and we enjoyed a great turkey dinner, if rather exhausting for the cook, lol. I added the cheesecloth vest for the breast and it turned out really well. Here is a pic of the bird and the recipe (not great, but there was so much steam and I had to shoot the pic before the carver got his hands on the bird) .
Turkey Brine (ingredients stolen from Martha Stewart. No, do not steal the ingredients, just steal the recipe. If you are not like me and do not have a pantry full of these seeds, just buy the brine mix at Williams-Sonoma and use 1 1/2 cups of it. Or just used coarse salt and forget the seasonings.)
Buy a fresh 12-15 pound turkey (I prefer fresh Amish which are readily available around here) or a frozen turkey - not Kosher or already treated - and have it rinsed and ready to brine. You can use the neck and giblets for gravy making or you can toss them out. Just remember to remove them from the bird. My Dad's sister never lived down her first turkey attempt when she left everything in the bird. We heard about it every year.
Now, I highly suggest a helper to get this together, but since I do not have one, I am fortunate that I can lift a 15 pound bird and 12 pounds of liquid at the same time. You need to put the bird in the brining bag, pour in the buttermilk brine, squeeze the air out of the bag, and seal it up tight. Place it in a large container in the fridge (I set mine in the bottom meat drawer) or in your cooler. Leave it for 24-36 hours.
At the end of your brining time, remove the bird and throw out the brine. Rinse the bird thoroughly and dry with paper towels - the turkey shower. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and let sit on the counter for one hour. You want the turkey skin to dry out. As for food safety, my bird only reached 44 degrees in temp before going in the oven.
Place your oven rack near the bottom of the oven. If you have a pizza stone, I highly recommend that you put it on the rack. It will transfer heat to the bottom of your pan very efficiently. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Add roughly chopped carrots, onion, celery, parsley to the open cavities of the bird. Be sure the legs are trussed.
Soak a piece of cheesecloth, four layers, roughly a 12" x 8" piece, in six tablespoons of melted butter. Lay it over the breast meat.
Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue roasting for 3 - 3 1/2 hours until the turkey has a temperature of 170 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. My oven has a probe feature, but you can also purchase remote probes that work outside the oven. Just be sure to insert the probe into the thickest part of the thigh away from bone before you put the bird in the oven. If you have neither, start checking the temperature of the bird after 2 1/2 hours of total cooking. DO NOT rely on the pop-up timer that came with the bird unless you enjoy dry turkey. Remember, every time you open that oven door, heat escapes, which is probably why some bloggers complain that it took forever for their turkey to cook.
When your turkey is done, remove it from the oven, remove the cheesecloth, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.
And this pic is for the guy who complained about eating turkey:
Some of them just get to roam free.