perfectly roasted turkey

perfectly roasted turkey


approximate 2 ¾ – 3 hours roasting time
serves 8

what you need:


cheesecloth (as needed)
kitchen twine (as needed)
roasting pan
“V” shaped roasting rack (optional)
meat thermometer
large metal spoon
aluminum foil


1   12 pound organic turkey, rinsed, giblets and neck reserved for gravy


2 gallons (8 quarts) water
2 cups kosher salt (or 1 cup table salt)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark rum
2 small apples, cored and quartered
1 head garlic, peeled
2 shallots, peeled
1 handful fresh Italian parsley
4-5 fresh sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 anise star

seasoning for turkey

kosher salt (as needed)
freshly ground black pepper (as needed)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pats
1 small orange, quartered
1 small sweet onion, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
l small 1eek, chopped
1 small garlic top removed
handful fresh Italian parsley
1  bay leaf
2-3 sage sprigs
4-5 thyme sprigs

vegetables for roasting pan

2 onions, chopped or cut into 1½ inch slabs
2-4 celery ribs, chopped
3 carrots, chopped


½ cup dry white wine
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1 ½ – 2 cups turkey (or chicken) broth

how to:

  • Make Brine.  Heat 2 quarts of the water. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the hot water. Once dissolved, place the solution in a large bucket. Add the remaining water and ingredients. Add the turkey to the brining liquid in the bucket. Place the bucket in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours (overnight).
  • Season And Air Dry. Remove the turkey from the brine. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the skin and the cavity with salt and pepper. Let the turkey air dry in refrigerator for 1 day covered only by a paper towel (the refrigerator air will dry the skin to make it crisp when roasted).
  • Room Temperature. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator two hours before you want to put it in the oven.
  • Preheat Oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare Aromatics. While the turkey is coming to room temperature, cut all of your vegetables and herbs to stuff in the turkey and for the roasting pan (or rack).
  • Stuff  Turkey With Aromatics. Stuff the turkey cavity with the orange, onion, lemon, carrot, celery, leek, garlic, and fresh herbs (cut as indicated). 
  • Bard. Gently lift the breast skin from the breast meat and place 4 pats of butter on top of each breast and under the skin. 
  • Truss. Truss the turkey with kitchen twine or manually (as discussed in post). Tuck the wings under themselves and inward toward the turkey. Grab the twine and beginning at the neck of the turkey, loop the twine around the front, securing it with the extra neck skin. Bring the twine around both sides toward the back, tying it under the turkey butt. Secure the wings to the body by tucking them under the twine. Cross the turkey legs at the joints. Use a second piece of twine to tie the crossed legs together. Grab the ends of the twine that is tied under the turkey butt. Pull the end up and wrap around the tied legs. Tie together.
  • Rack. If using a V shaped roasting rack, chop the carrots, onions, and celery and place in the bottom of the roasting pan. If you are making a vegetable roasting rack, cut the onions in 1½ inch thick circles and cut the carrots in half lengthwise. Leave the celery ribs whole. Carefully place the turkey on top of the rack (make sure that there is at least an inch between the roasting pan and the turkey and that the turkey is raised sufficiently high and away from the sides of the roasting pan).
  • Cheesecloth Blanket. Melt butter in a small saucepan over a low flame. Add the wine and minced herbs to the butter. Drape the cheesecloth over the turkey. Pour 3/4 of the butter mixture over the cheesecloth. Reserve a 1/4 of the mixture for basting. Pour the turkey stock into the roasting pan.
  • Roast High. Cover the turkey lightly with aluminum foil. Place the roasting pan on the lowest rack in the oven.
  • Roast Low. After 15 minutes, reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Baste.  After the turkey has been in the oven for 30 minutes, brush the remaining butter mixture over the turkey. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes thereafter by spooning the pan drippings over the turkey. Do not baste more than 4 times.
  • Brown. After two hours, remove the cheesecloth and the foil (if you are roasting a larger turkey, do this one hour before the projected time to remove the turkey from the oven). Continue to roast (if it appears that the turkey is getting too dark or burning, cover it again lightly with foil).
  • Remove From Oven. Remove the turkey from the oven when the skin is golden brown and thickest part of breast meat reaches an internal temperature of 161-162 degrees Fahrenheit and the thickest part of the thigh meat is 171-172 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Rest. Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and it let rest (covered with foil) for 30 minutes. The turkey can be eaten when the temperature of the breast meat has risen to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and thigh meat registers 175 degrees Fahrenheit.






Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.