Russ Parsons’ Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird)

Some of our amazing neighbors gifted us with five turkeys this year. I dry-brined every one. I never liked turkey so much, or found it so easy to prepare, until I learned about this method.

Click here for the link.

My changes include substituting sea salt of any variety for Diamond Crystal. After washing my turkey (yes, I still wash but am very careful about contamination, especially after recent salmonella warnings), I skip patting it dry and put it in a roaster, slathering about 3T of salt (depending on turkey weight–see link directions) over all sides of the turkey, not worrying about the cavities because they’re usually frozen solid. I skip any other spices until step 7.

I then fast forward to step 4, folding the wings in preparation for roasting when thawed enough to do so, removing any foreign plastic from the drumsticks or elsewhere, and covering without turning but refrigerating as stipulated (For me, it usually takes longer than specified).

I skip step 5.

I do step 6 and skip patting and the butter on step 7.  My favorite seasoning is zesting 2 limes (or 1 lime, 1 lemon) and about 2T fresh or frozen rosemary, sprinkled on top of the turkey after step 7. I halve each lime (or lemon), hand-squeeze the juice over the skin, then put the rinds in both bird cavities. I insert big fork tines, one on each end, to flip the turkey; it’s hot and heavy.

I do step 8, but it usually takes 3 hours or more.

I skip the foil of step 9 and try to let the bird stand as directed before serving, but usually we’re already eating it.

The turkey I made yesterday looked like the link’s picture as usual, tasted great as usual, and is half gone by today. Also, the kitchen smells delicious all those hours while roasting!