First, we've got your sides covered. Take a look at our recipes for Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots, Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan, and Creamy Mashed Potatoes to dress the table in a symphony of flavors. Now, it’s time for the star of the show, the traditional Thanksgiving turkey.
We've reached out to a dear friend—a Chef with a wealth of culinary expertise—to share his tried-and-tested Thanksgiving turkey recipe. With his guidance, you'll discover how to achieve a bird that's succulent, perfectly crispy, and a true showstopper—all while making the process stress-free. No more worrying about dry meat, overcooked skin, or last-minute kitchen mishaps. Today, we are here to make this year's bird the best yet.
12 lb / 5450 gr turkey, defrosted and with gizzards removed
7 qt / 7 l water
1.5 cup / 250 gr kosher salt
1 cup / 155 gr brown sugar
3 bay leaves
5 thyme springs
2 tbsp peppercorns
6 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup / 230 gr room temperature unsalted butter
10 finely chopped sage leaves
2 tsp garlic powder
ground or freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup / 120 ml white wine
½ cup / 115 gr unsalted butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic
0.25 bunch of parsley
For the brine
For the sage butter
For the basting liquid
For the basting liquid
In a large Stockpot, prepare a brining liquid with salt, brown sugar, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, garlic cloves and half the water, and bring to the boil.
Turn off the heat source, add the remaining water and allow the boiled brine to cool down completely to room temperature.
When the brine is cool, place the turkey into a large brining bag or tub and submerge it, making sure the breasts are fully covered. If needed, place the turkey breasts side down.
Move the turkey to the fridge and let it soak for at least 8 hours.
Once the turkey is brined, remove it from the liquid and transfer it to a cooling rack placed on top of a baking sheet and let it dry in the fridge overnight.
Set the oven to preheat to 375°F (190°C) and, in the meantime, mix room temperature butter, chopped sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper into a spreadable paste and set aside at room temperature.
In a Saucepan, combine the white wine, butter, garlic powder and bay leaf and bring to the boil.
Once boiled, turn off the heat and set aside at room temperature.
Cut the orange in half, leaving its skin on and cut the head of garlic in half.
Remove the turkey from the fridge and fill the cavity with the orange, garlic and whole parsley.
Pinch the extra skin from the neck and fasten with three toothpicks to tighten it.
Flip the tips of the wings on themselves towards the back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Rub the previously prepared sage and garlic butter over the breast, then cover it with tin foil, making sure not to cover the thighs and legs.
Place the turkey in a Roaster and roast it for 1:30 hour, basting it every 20 minutes with the garlic and buttery wine made earlier.
Remove the tin foil from the breast and finish cooking for 30 to 45 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the internal temp reaches 165°F (73°C) – make sure to check on the thickest part of the thigh!
Allow the turkey to rest so the juices can redistribute throughout, resulting in a moist and delicious turkey, then bring to the table for a stunning oven to table presentation. Buon appetito!
Brining means soaking your turkey in salted, aromatic water before preparing and cooking it.
During this process, the turkey absorbs some of the water while the salt dissolves some muscle proteins – this process ensures that, once roasted in the oven, the meat is never dry and the skin turns golden brown.