Thanksgiving-brined and roasted turkey with garlic herb butter

Main Dish
3 servings
25 min
20 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 3
1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 gallon vegetable stock

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1/2 tablespoon allspice berries

1/2 tablespoon candied ginger

1 gallon iced water


1 1/2 cups kosher salt

3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1 gallon chicken stock

1 bottle beer/ale

2 tablespoon liquid smoke

4 cloves of garlic

3 bay leaves, chopped

4 sprigs of thyme, chopped or crushed

2 tablespoons black peppercorns


1 tart apple, sliced

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

2 cups water

4 sprigs rosemary

6 leaves sage

2 bay leaves

Garlic and Herb Butter:

2 sticks butter, softened

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced herbs (thyme or rosemary)


  • Combine all brine ingredients (from ONE of the above recipes), except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve salt and sugar, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  • Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket or ice chest. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement or cool garage) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.
  • Aromatics:
    A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, garlic, celery and 2 cups of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 6 minutes. Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
  • Garlic and Herb Butter:
    In a medium bowl combine softened butter with minced garlic and herbs. Rub this butter under the skin along the thighs, breasts and legs of turkey. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally canola oil.
  • Roasting the Turkey:
    Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary, sage and bay leaves.
  • Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.


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