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Nov 14, 2011 07:33 AM

CI's Butterflied Turkey Recipe Help

Hi, I have some questions about Cooks Illustrated's Butterfied Turkey recipe if anyone can help. First off, they have two recipes for the glaze (Cranberry Molasses or Apple Maple glaze). If anyone has made the recipe, which glaze did you prefer? If you haven't made it, which do you think would work better? Or if anyone has an addtional glaze to recommend, that would be cool too.

Also in the directions, it says to rub salt and pepper on bone side of turkey as well as rubbing salt under the skin. It also directs me to rub salt, pepper and baking powder onto the skin. The directions doesn't specify if I needed to brine first or not. If I buy a kosher turkey, should I omit the salt portions of the directions and just use the pepper and baking powder since a kosher turkey is already sort of brined?

Here is a link to a website with the recipe

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  1. I'm planning on using this recipe for Thanksgiving (with the cranberry molasses glaze). I bought a free range Willie Bird turkey and am planning on brining it for 8-10 hours using Pioneer Woman's favorite turkey brine (rather than the 16+ hours that she suggests) and then also salting the turkey per the Cooks Illustrated directions. Also, rather than making the cranberry molasses sauce/gravy, I plan on collecting all of the drippings from the roasting pan after the slow cook, but before the glazing step, to make a classic gravy from homemade stock (to avoid over-salted gravy).

    3 Replies
    1. re: CC35

      Have you done this recipe before? You don't think after brining the turkey, then adding the additonal salt from the CI directions will make the Turkey too salty? I'm not a very good cook, so I wasn't sure if it was okay? Thanks for your help.

      1. re: eixty

        I haven't made it before, so I guess it is an experiment for me too! The turkey that I bought is a free range bird that has not been injected with any salt solutions, which is why I plan on brining it for about 8 hours. For conventional grocery store turkeys (e.g., butterball, etc.), there is no need to brine since they already have the salt solution added.

        If you are worried about having too much salt, you could skip (or reduce) the 1 Tbs of salt under the skin and just salt the cavity and outside.

        1. re: CC35

          Yeah, i was going to get a kosher turkey this year since I wanted to see what it tasted like as its supposed to be already sort of brined. I'll try skipping the salt for under the skin as you advised, thanks.

    2. I made the one with the cranberry molasses glaze last year and we LOVED it!!! After 44 years of turkey making, it is the first time I have deterred from the original, and I'm glad i did. (The apple glaze doesn't appeal to us)

      I always brine the turkey, but doesn't leave it salty. The salt pepper and baking powder are to make the skin crisp.

      I'm making it again this year.

      2 Replies
        1. re: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah

          KSyrahSyrah... from the CI board, correct?

          I am considering making this one this year. However, I think I am going to dry brine and air dry it first. Then just salt the outside of the skin with the pepper and baking powder.