Herb-Brined Turkey Recipe
For an impressive main course, look here. The moist, flavorful bird will have guests counting the minutes until carving time. — Scott Rugh, Portland, Oregon
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 5 fresh sage leaves
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 2 quarts water
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
- 2 large turkey-size oven roasting bags
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley sprigs
- 1/3 cup fresh sage leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- In a large kettle, combine the salt, brown sugar, sage, thyme, rosemary and 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add the cold water to cool the marinade to room temperature.
- Place a turkey-size oven roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Carefully pour cooled brine into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bags and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally.
- Drain and discard brine; rinse turkey and pat dry. Tie drumsticks together. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. With fingers, carefully loosen skin from turkey breast; rub half of the butter mixture under skin. Secure skin to underside of breast with toothpicks. Rub remaining butter mixture over skin.
- Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°; bake 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 hours longer or until meat thermometer reads 180°, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.
- Remove turkey to a serving platter; Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. Yield: 14 servings.
Originally published as Herb-Brined Turkey in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2012, p48
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer
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Reviewed Nov. 11, 2013
Yes, brined turkey is the only way to go. My family loves it.
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