Over the years, I’ve worked to perfect the ultimate turkey recipe. Inspired by Martha Stewart’s Perfect Roast Turkey recipe and famed Big Green Egger, “Mad Max’s Holiday Rub” courtesy Dizzy Pig BBQ, this is a sell-out collaboration guaranteed to excite the senses. you can do it in the oven, Big Green Egg, or Traeger without fail. The key is the brining which keeps your Turkey from drying out. We use a store-bought version you can get from Amazon, but you can substitute your own. Your house will smell like the holidays all day long!
One 15-20 pound fresh Turkey, not frozen
1 Brining Kit (see above for link)
1 Bottle Mad Max Turkey Seasoning (see above for link)
2 Small Apples, preferably Honey crisp
2 small onions (preferably sweet)
2 large carrots
1 bunch Celery
4 sticks of unsalted butter, 2 melted and cooled, 2 room temperature
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 750ml bottles white wine (we like Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay)
1 Large Roasting Pan (I prefer disposable)
1 Large Roasting V-Rack
Optional: For Big Green Egg – a Spider or 2 fire bricks to elevate the pan off the plate setter.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees or Set up Big Green Egg with Plate Setter inverted (no grate) or Traeger at 400 degrees with rack in lower position. If no smoker is available, you can use an oven, we don’t judge. Make sure the Traeger is clean, consider doing a test cook to burn off bits before you go to 450.
- Brine the Turkey, preferably for 24 hours according to directions. The brine seasoning may be used but ignore the rub/seasoning for post-brining that comes with most kits. We will make our own
- Clean out the Turkey, putting the giblets and neck in a small sauce pot, fill with water and 2 Tablespoons Mad Max Turkey Rub, four celery stalks (rough cut) and the carrots (rough cut). Bring to a simmer, refilling water all day for your gravy stock. Your house will smell amazing.
- 24 hours later, after removing Turkey from brine, with a paper towel, dry the Turkey inside and out
- Fill the inside of the bird with a generous amount of Mad Max Turkey Seasoning. Spread it throughout.
- Quarter two apples and halve the onions and lemon. Fill the cavity fully with the mixture alternating. (Note they will not be eaten later, they help to maintain moisture and impart taste).
- Make a paste with 2 tablespoons of the softened butter and at least 2 Tablespoons of Mad Max Seasoning to taste. I use 3 Tablespoons.
- Tuck the wings underneath. Then coat the Turkey with the butter/seasoning paste all over, being sure to get all the spots on the legs and wings.
- Very important! Fill a 1-gallon Ziplock bag with ice and place it on the breasts of the Turkey for at least 20-30 minutes before roasting. This keeps the Turkey breast from drying out.
- Melt two sticks of butter, adding 1/2 bottle of white wine and mix in 2 Tablespoons of Mad Max Seasoning. Once cooled slightly, place cheesecloth in the mixture. Set aside.
- Lift cheesecloth out of butter mixture and squeeze just a bit. Spread it over the Turkey breast and about halfway down the sides of the Turkey. Then [lace turkey, legs first, in oven. Cook for 30 minutes.
- Using a brush or Turkey baster, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to cook for about 2 1/2 more hours (for a 20lb bird), basting every 30 minutes.
- After 3 hours, remove and discard the cheesecloth. Turn the roasting pan so the breast is in the back or if using a Big Green Egg or Traeger, turn the roasting pan to the hottest spot is over the breasts to crisp up the skin. Continue to cook for a 4th hour, basting every 30 minutes.
- After four hours, use an instant read thermometer poking the thickest part of the thigh but not the bone. The temperature should read 180 degrees. When you hit this point, pull the Turkey and let it rest for at least 30 minutes
- Then transfer Turkey to a serving platter or carve in place. I prefer to carve prior and allow everyone to pick their favorite pieces buffet-style before settling down to sides at the table.
- For the gravy, Pour all of the pan juices into a fat separator or pyrex-style measuring cup. Let it stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim it off.
- Put the roasting pan on the stove over medium to medium-high heat. Add 1 cup dry red or white wine, or water, to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan until the burned bits are unstuck from pan. Add giblet stock to pan and boil, stirring well. Cook until liquid has been reduced by half. Add the de-fatted pan juices and cook over medium-high heat about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with more Mad Max Turkey Seasoning, strain into a warm gravy boat, and serve with the Turkey.