Dry brine turkey

By Christine Cushing
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Dry brine turkey

Tender turkey with no basting required; all you need is some simple herbs, white wine and time.

SERVES
12
 TO
14
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

Dry brine turkey

  • One (12-14 pound) young turkey (about 5 1/2 -7 kilograms)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons kosher salt and ¼ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • Several sprigs each of thyme, sage and rosemary, whole and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (15 millilitres)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (5 millilitres)
  • 1 cup dry white wine or vermouth (250 millilitres)

Gravy

  • 1 cup chicken or turkey broth (250 millilitres)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (25 millilitres)
  • Sprigs of herbs, for garnish, optional

Directions

Dry brine turkey

  1. 24 hours prior to roasting, remove little bag of giblets and turkey neck from turkey cavity. For additional flavour to pan drippings, roast neck and giblets in pan beside turkey. Ensure that you have the bottom shelf of fridge available that fits your turkey overnight.
  2. Combine the kosher salt and ground pepper together and blend. With bird in roasting pan, preferably on a rack,  sprinkle inside of turkey cavity with two teaspoons of mixture. Sprinkle another two teaspoons over legs and wings, making sure to sprinkle from a height to ensure light dusting. Lastly sprinkle the remainder of salt mixture evenly over breast area with a light dusting. Transfer to fridge and let brine uncovered for 24 hours-28 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. The following day, remove turkey from fridge. Stuff cavity with several sprigs of fresh herbs. 
  5. Drizzle with olive oil to allow herbs to stick. Combine the paprika and chopped herbs together and sprinkle over entire surface of turkey.  Pour white wine around turkey and roast, breast side up, at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reads 170 degrees Fahrenheit, approximately three hours. Note that time can vary. Remove and let rest for 20 minutes.

Gravy

  1. Remove the turkey onto a cutting board and let rest. While turkey is resting, drain out pan drippings into a fat separator and discard most of the fat. Pour the drippings, the cold broth, mixed with corn starch to dissolve over medium heat in a saucepan on stovetop. Whisk mixture over medium high heat until just glossy and slightly reduced, about eight-10 minutes. Pour into a serving or coffee thermos, if desired, to keep warm.
  2. Slice turkey and serve with gravy.

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