Stressed about what Turkey to make this year? We’ve got you covered. Give our simple, stress free dry-brined turkey a try! It doesn’t require as much fridge space as a wet-brined turkey does, but the meat will be just as flavorful and moist!
1 12-14 lb fresh turkey
For the dry-brine
3 tbsp Coarse Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
For Roasting the Turkey
2 onions, one halved, one chopped
1 head garlic, top trimmed to expose bulbs
1 lemon, halved
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
About 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
Brining the Turkey
Two days before you plan on cooking the turkey, start the brining process. Combine all of the ingredients for the dry brine in a small bowl. Set a rack on top of a 12 by 17 inch rimmed baking sheet and add the turkey, breast side up. Remove giblets and neck and either reserve for stock, or discard. Pat turkey dry with paper towels
Carefully loosen the breast and leg skin, and season flesh with the salt mix. Then liberally apply the salt mix over the entire bird, including inside of the cavity. You may not need to use it all, but you want every inch liberally seasoned. Set in the fridge, uncovered, until you are ready to cook the turkey.
Roasting the Turkey
5 hours before you’d like to eat, remove the turkey from the fridge and preheat the oven to 450˚F. Let turkey sit at room temperature for about an hour, then add some of the softened butter under the skin of the breast and leg. Rub the rest of the butter all over the skin of the turkey.
Add the halved onion, lemon and garlic to the cavity, pulling the flap of skin over the aromatics and tucking it under the bottom of the bird.
Tuck the wing tips under the bird and truss the legs together with kitchen twine. Scatter the chopped onion, carrots and celery on the bottom of a roasting pan, and set a turkey rack on top.
Add the turkey to the roasting pan and cook at 450˚ for about 30 minutes. Remove turkey from oven, adding about two cups of stock over the bird and into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Reduce oven to 350˚ F and add turkey back in. Roast for another 3 hours (about 13 minutes per pound) adding more stock to the bottom of the pan as it evaporates. Check the turkey after an hour and half of cooking at 350˚F to gauge how fast it’s cooking. It may need more or less time depending on a variety of factors ( you oven, if you have anything else in the oven, etc.) If the breast is browning too quickly, cover it with tin foil. In the last hour of cooking, feel free to baste the turkey a few times to help brown the skin. Basting before this point if a waste of time (and oven temperature) as the fat will not have fully rendered.
When you believe turkey is done, check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The breast should be at 155˚F, while the thigh should be at 165˚F. The bird will continue cooking while it rests. If your turkey is not to temperature, place it back in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Set turkey on a carving board (one that will catch any released juices) to rest for about 20 minutes, tented with tin foil.
Use our recipe, here, to make pan gravy from the reserved drippings in the roasting pan.
Carve turkey, and add to a serving platter. Enjoy!