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Golden Roasted Turkey

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. + marinating Bake: 2-3/4 hours + standing


14 servings

Your holiday turkey will never turn out dry again if you reach for this recipe. Brining overnight and stuffing with apples results in moist, tender meat.—Michael Williams, Moreno Valley, California
Golden Roasted Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 cartons (32 ounces each) vegetable broth
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a stockpot, combine the first six ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add the cold water to cool the brine to room temperature.
  2. 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 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the water, apple, onion and cinnamon. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until apples are tender; drain water.
  4. Drain and discard brine. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Place cooked apple mixture, rosemary and sage in turkey cavity. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together.
  5. Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub with oil and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.) Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving; discard apple mixture and herbs.

Nutrition Facts

10 ounces cooked turkey: 538 calories, 25g fat (7g saturated fat), 245mg cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 0 carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 72g protein.

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  • thymesavour
    Oct 21, 2016

    I have brined my turkey for years, never do it any other way, and this recipe is pretty close, with the exception that I add 1 bud of garlic separated, 2 apples, 2 oranges (don't peel apples and oranges) 2 onions cut in 8ths, several cups of celery chunks and 2 C of kosher salt to the recipe. It sounds like a lot of salt, but it doesn't make the turkey salty, just be sure to rinse and pat dry after brining. Discard the brining solution. As rebelwithoutaclue says, you can't use the butterball turkeys or self basting turkeys because they already have a solution infused. I brine at least 24 hours and brine it in a large stock pot with something heavy on top the turkey to keep it under the solution and refrigerate. The other things that I think make a big difference are, I stuff the cavities with raw apple, orange, onion and celery chunks (squeeze some of that orange into the cavity!), make a paste of cold but softened butter with sage and rosemary and rub it under the skin. Salt and pepper the turkey and (very important!), I use a cooking bag to bake it, but I bake it breast side DOWN 350 for the first hour, then I turn it down to 300 and cook it for the amount required on the cooking bag. Why let all those delectable juices go to waste? Let them go right into the breast meat. It is so flavorful and moist. Let it sit in the bag for about 20 min before you open it up. It doesn't look really great, but after it's carved, it doesn't matter. It's all about the flavor and moistness of the turkey.

  • saturine1
    Nov 23, 2013

    5 star recipe... My family loves it love the moisture

  • kgriffin36
    Nov 22, 2013

    I used this recipe last year and it was perfect. The turkey was moist and juicy. I never used the brine method before and it seems to be the key step.

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    Nov 22, 2013

    If you wait till temp reaches 180 degrees and then let rest, covered for 15min (temp now has reached 185 degrees) you are assured to have another dried out turkey. The rest of the recipe is now rendered useless. Roast bird @ 325 degrees after brining 12 hrs till internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Remove bird to large ice chest, placing bird in a clean pan and cover w/ bath towels for 15 to 30 min. The FDA changed the cooking temp reccomendation in 2006 and many cookbooks have the old 180 degree temp. If you have a Butterball, kosher or any other self basting turkey, DO NOT BRINE. It will be too salty.