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Overhead look at a whole golden roasted turkey on a white platter garnished with orange slices, rosemaries and fresh cranberries. The platter is sitting on a wooden table.
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5 from 5 votes

Brined and Roasted Turkey ~ Perfect Every Time!

Incredibly moist, delicious, golden and perfectly roasted turkey. The secret is in the brine!! Inactive Cooking Time: 4 to 24 hours Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: About 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Brined and Roasted Turkey, Brined Turkey, How To Brine a Turkey, Turkey Brine
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 434kcal


For the Brine

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oranges quartered
  • 2 lemons quartered
  • 1 apple quartered
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 gallons of water

For the Turkey

  • 1 10 to 12 pound turkey
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 2 carrots cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • a few sage leaves optional
  • 1 to 1 ½ cup turkey or chicken stock

Turkey Broth (optional)

  • Reserved turkey neck and giblets
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 cups low salt chicken stock or canned low sodium chicken broth

For The Gravy

  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 cups turkey broth or chicken broth plus more if needed
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Reserved cooked turkey neck meat and giblets if desired


For the Brine

  • In a non-reactive container (like a clean bucket, big stock pot or a food grade plastic container) dissolve the salt and the sugar in 2 gallons of water. Add the rest of the brine ingredients.
  • Remove the neck and bag of giblets from the turkey cavity. Rinse your turkey under cold running water. Submerge and soak the turkey into the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • If you have a very large turkey and need more brining solution, use ½ cup of salt + ½ brown sugar per gallon of water.

For the Turkey Broth

  • In a heavy saucepan place the turkey neck, giblets and heart. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery and bay leaf. Pour water and broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until reduced to about 4 cups. You can add the turkey liver during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Strain the stock and reserve.
  • NOTE: If you like to add turkey neck meat and giblets into your gravy, pull the meat from the turkey neck and chop finely. Do the same with the giblets. Reserve.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels both inside and out.
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the garlic cloves and soy sauce. Mix to combine.
  • Place the turkey breast side up in a roasting pan. Season inside the cavity lightly with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey cavity with the onion, carrots, celery, lemon, thyme, rosemary and a few sage leaves. If you cannot fit all of it inside the cavity, it's ok to place some of the ingredients around the bird.
  • Pour some of the melted butter mix under the turkey skin trying to get some on the breast and around the legs and thighs. You can discard the garlic cloves or make sure they end up inside the cavity or under the turkey skin. If you leave them on the baking pan, they could potentially burn Pour or brush on the rest of the melted butter mix over the turkey (trying to get it everywhere). Season very lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Roast the turkey uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven, turn and baste with turkey or chicken stock. Continue roasting breast side up for about 2 hours to 3 hours or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the largest section of thigh meat (avoid the bone).
  • Baste the turkey with about ½ cup of turkey or chicken stock every hour during the cooking time.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a serving platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving.

For the Gravy

  • Discard any vegetables or herbs from the roasting pan and pour the turkey pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Skim off the fat.
  • Place the roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners over medium heat. Return the turkey pan juices into the roasting pan. Add the wine. Deglaze, stirring to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the 3 cups of broth and bring to a simmer. Reserve.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a roux. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the hot stock from the roasting pan into the saucepan whisking constantly. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened stirring as needed.
  • At this point, you can add the reserved neck meat and giblets, if desired. Adjust seasoning and pour into a gravy boat.
  • Serve.


Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 19556mg | Potassium: 688mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 5720IU | Vitamin C: 69.1mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 2.3mg