Several years ago we decided to try brining our turkey for our holiday dinner with family, and let me tell you, it was the most delicious turkey that I had ever tasted (and it still is)! We received so many compliments that year, and we have made the same recipe every year since. This juicy turkey recipe also calls for an herb butter that is very simple to make but adds a ton of flavor. Brining the turkey is what makes it so juicy and delicious, but you need to be prepared that it is a process that you will need to begin about 24-36 hours before roasting your turkey.
2 gallons water, divided
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoons mince garlic
2 tablespoons peppercorns
4 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Brine and air-dry the turkey:
- Wash and pat turkey dry. Remove giblets.
- Bring 1/2 gallon of water, the salt, the sugar, peppercorns, and the garlic to a boil in a large stock pot, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
- Pour the brine into a container or pot large enough to hold the turkey and brine. Add 1 and 1/2 gallons of water.
- Fully submerge the turkey (breast side down) in the brine. You can place a heavy plate on top of turkey to hold the turkey under the water, if needed.
- Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
- Remove the turkey from brine.
- Drain any liquid out of the cavity, rinse the turkey well, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Let bird sit for 30 minutes.
- Line the bottom of a roasting pan with carrots and celery sticks
- Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Tuck the wings behind the turkey’s back. Place one onion (peeled and cut in half), a halved lemon, in the cavity of the turkey.
- Place 4 sticks of unsalted, room temperature butter, 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning, and 1 tablespoon of dried parsley in a bowl and mix until well blended.
- Transfer butter mixture onto parchment paper. Roll the mixture up into the parchment paper forming a cylinder, and twist both ends.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- After the herb butter has been refrigerated, slice into 1/4 inch medallions.
- Use hand to separate skin from turkey breast. Place all except one medallion underneath the skin.
- Rub remaining butter all over the outside of the turkey.
Oven Roasting the Turkey:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place turkey in the oven and decrease temperature to 325 degrees.
- Cook 15 minutes per pound, or until the inner thigh reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees fahrenheit.
- Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.