Brined Thanksgiving turkey platter full 2 featured

Thanksgiving Turkey


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 onion, cut into a large dice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange, cut in thick slices
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 12-22 pound turkey, thawed
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 1 head garlic, tip sliced off to expose the cloves
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • 1-2 sticks butter, depending on size of the turkey


The Day Prior to Roasting:

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the salt, sugar, peppercorns and bay leaves. Boil until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat.

Add the onion, garlic, the juice of the lemons and the lemons, orange slices and rosemary to the brine. Allow it to cool.

Find a pot or clean bucket large enough to hold the turkey (that will also fit in your refrigerator!). I used a bag for roasting the turkey and then placed it in a large roasting pan. Add enough cold water to fully submerge the turkey. Allow the turkey to brine in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Remove the turkey from the brine, discarding the brine. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Season the cavity of the bird with salt and pepper and stuff it with the onion, lemons, garlic and herbs. Tie the drumsticks together with butchers twine to secure. Rub the turkey all over with the softened butter and season it with salt (and pepper if desired).

Place the turkey in the oven and roast it for 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F and cook according to the turkey’s weight. See THIS chart.

Remove the turkey from the oven. Remove the rack, allowing the turkey to rest. Use the drippings to make gravy.

Allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes. Cut the twine and remove the ingredients from the cavity. Carve the turkey and serve immediately.


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