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Brined and Roasted Turkey


Rate this recipe 2.8/5 (16 Votes)


  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 1 turkey
  • 4 Tbsp butter at room temperature
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
  • 1 large orange, cut into 8ths
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 springs thyme
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock.
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Reserved turkey neck and giblets
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups turkey broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget


Step 1

To Brine: dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container. Add the oranges, lemons, thyme and rosemary. Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water. Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 325F. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pay dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with the butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.

Step 3

For the Turkey Broth: heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. add the turkey neck, heart and gizzard to the pan and saute until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Pour the stock and 3 cups of water into the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer until the stock is reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour, adding the chopped liver to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Step 4

Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Pull the meat off the neck, chop the neck meat and giblets and set aside.

Step 5

Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant read thermometer registers 165F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of turkey stock.

Step 6

Remove from oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Step 7

For the pan gravy, pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass measuring cup and skim off the fat. Place the roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners over medium heat, add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cups of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup.

Step 8

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved neck meat and giblets to the pan and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.

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