Difficulty: Medium. Prep time: 30 minutes (add 24 hours if brining). Cook Time: 3 to 3.5 hours Rest Time: 30 minutes
12-14 pound full bone-in Turkey (Fresh and unbrined turkey preferred)
1-6oz bottle Head Country Seasoning (Original, Sweet & Spicy or High Plains Heat)
½ cup Head Country Premium Marinade
½ cup unsalted butter (two sticks) softened
Large roasting pan
Salt & pepper
Chicken stock (optional)
Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce (for serving)
1 gallon drinking water
½ cup kosher salt
1. If using a fresh, unbrined turkey: Up to 24 hours before baking, select a large enough container to hold the water and your thawed turkey. Dissolve salt in the water. Check turkey cavity for giblets and remove from the bird. Place turkey and giblets back side down into the container - close the lid and refrigerate, periodically turning the turkey over to allow all parts of the turkey to soak in the brine. Skip this step if your turkey has already been packaged in a sodium solution, as brining again will make your bird too salty.
2. Remove turkey from refrigerator an hour before baking. If you brined, remove the turkey from the brine and discard the liquid, reserving the giblets if you desire. Pat turkey dry with paper towels, making sure to remove all water from the cavity. Place in roasting pan.
3. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 425° F. Mix just over half of the 6 oz bottle of Head Country seasoning into the softened butter to create a compound. Carefully loosening the skin of the turkey, rub 1/2 of the butter generously under the skin of the turkey and lightly on the outside of the skin. Reserve remaining butter for basting.
4. Season the turkey cavity with the remaining seasoning and pour in half of the marinade. Truss turkey closed to your preference.
5. Place turkey in oven uncovered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce temperature to 350° F and cover loosely with foil.
6. Cook the turkey until the breast meat registers 160° F and the leg meat registers 155° F with a meat thermometer- about 2 ½- 3 hours more if cooking a 12-14 pound turkey according to the instructions above. Check the turkey in regular intervals- every 30- 45 minutes to baste with remaining butter and marinade. There will not be many juices dripping at the start and you may want to deglaze your roasting pan with chicken stock or water. This liquid will also be good for basting once the juices, butter, and marinade drippings start incorporating.
7. When done, remove turkey and allow to sit for 30 minutes before carving. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with your favorite Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce. You can even glaze with sauce prior to serving.
This recipe is for an unstuffed turkey.
Don't forget frozen turkeys take 3-4 days to thaw in the refrigerator!