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Fresh Herb-Brined Turkey

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. + brining Bake: 2-1/2 hours + standing

Makes

16 servings

Brining a turkey is all about adding moisture for a tender, juicy bird. We flavor our brine with parsley, rosemary and a touch of thyme. —Felicia Saathoff, Vashon, Washington
Fresh Herb-Brined Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups salt
  • 10 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 5 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 7 bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 4-1/2 quarts cold water
  • 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • TURKEY:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional

Directions

  1. In a large stockpot, combine the first nine ingredients; bring to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat. Add cold water to cool the brine to room temperature.
  2. Place one oven roasting bag inside the other. Place turkey inside both bags; pour in cooled brine. Seal bags, pressing out as much air as possible; turn to coat turkey. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Refrigerate 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove turkey from brine; rinse and pat dry. Discard brine. Place turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together. Rub oil over outside of turkey; sprinkle with pepper and, if desired, salt.
  4. Roast, uncovered, 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.)
  5. Remove turkey from oven; tent with foil. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.
Editor’s Note: If using a prebasted turkey, omit 1/2 teaspoon salt sprinkled on outside of turkey.

Nutrition Facts

9 ounces cooked turkey with skin: 480 calories, 23g fat (7g saturated fat), 215mg cholesterol, 258mg sodium, 0 carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 63g protein.

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