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Dry brine turkey for Thanksgiving day
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Dry Brine Turkey

A dry brined turkey that is moist, flavorful, and delicious.
Prep Time2 d
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
resting time30 mins
Total Time2 d 3 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brine a turkey, roast turkey
Servings: 8
Calories: 1068kcal


  • 16 pounds turkey not kosher, and not pre-brined (1 turkey between 12-16 pounds)

Dry Brine

  • 3 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary

The Rest

  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 onions small, halved
  • 2 apples small, cored and halved
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice or white wine


  • Two days before you want to serve, remove any extra pieces from the turkey (neck, giblets etc.) then rinse your turkey and pat it dry.
  • In a small bowl, mix together Salt and dried herbs.  Rub all over the turkey, inside the cavities, and under the skin where you can. You will want about 3 Tablespoons, or 1 Tablespoon per 4 pounds of Turkey. Place more of the brine mixture on the breasts than the thighs, as they are thicker and need more.
  • Wrap your turkey in plastic wrap, or put in a large plastic bag, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day, turn your turkey over, and return to your refrigerator for another night.
  • A couple of hours before cooking, remove turkey from plastic wrap or bag and pat dry.  Then set out in a roasting pan on the counter to allow to come to room temperature.
  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, mix ½ the butter with ½ the parsley, finely chopped and the black pepper.
  • Gently lift the skin of the turkey, and use a spoon to insert the herbed butter under the skin, use hands to press it around. Then take remaining butter and rub it all over the exterior of the turkey, specifically onto the thigh meat and breasts.
  • Put remaining parsley, half the onions and half the apples into the main cavity of the bird. And remaining apples and onions into the neck.  Truss the legs with kitchen twine.
  • Roast for 30 minutes in the 450 degree oven.
  • Remove turkey from the oven, reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees.
  • Use foil to cover the breast of the bird and wing tips.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups apple juice or white wine to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Place bird back in the oven, and roast for another two hours (or for about 12 minutes per pound), and remove the foil for the last half hour.
  • After the 2 hours, insert an instant read thermometer into the thigh to test for doneness. It should read 160 degree F when done.
  • Remove turkey from oven, and lift from pan, dumping any juices from inside the turkey into the roasting pan.
  • Place turkey on a baking sheet or serving platter, and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • All of the liquid in the roasting pan and fat drippings can be used to make a great pan sauce or gravy.


Calories: 1068kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 140g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 494mg | Sodium: 3345mg | Potassium: 1606mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1045IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 6mg