The secret to the most Juicy Roast Turkey is to brine it for at least 24 hours before roasting it. It really is a fool proof way of getting a beautifully moist turkey with a crispy golden skin!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time16 hrs 20 mins
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2 oranges
- 3 lemons
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup sage fresh
- 4 springs rosemary
- 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
- 6 cloves garlic
- 12 lb turkey up to 20 lbs
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 1 large onion cut into wedges
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 6 leaves sage
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 2 cups chicken broth
Assemble the brine: Add the water and apple cider to a large pot (large enough to fit your turkey) and bring it to a boil. Peel the oranges using a potato peeler or a knife, then cut it in half. Cut the lemons in half and juice it. Add the remaining brine ingredients together and bring to a boil to dissolve all the salt and sugar. Add the lemon halves and orange halves after they've been juiced to the brine as well, they will provide more flavor. Remove from heat and cool completely. To speed this up add about 4 cups of ice to the brine.
Combine the brine and turkey: Once the brine is cooled, place the turkey in the brine making sure it's fully submerged in it. You may have to weigh it down with another pot of water. What I did placed a big tray over the bin, and then a cast iron skillet over the plate. This worked for me because the brine and turkey came up to the top of the bin. Another option is to use a brick or rock wrapped in plastic wrap.
Store: Store it in the fridge overnight or at least for 12 hours up to 2 days, so make sure you have enough room in your fridge.
Assemble the turkey: Position rack to the lower third of your oven and preheat oven to 450°. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and season the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with onion, rosemary, sage and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body.
Roast the turkey: Brush butter all over turkey then season generously with salt and pepper. Place turkey breast side up on a roasting rack inside of a large pan. Pour chicken broth into the pan. Transfer to oven and immediately reduce oven heat to 350°.
Baste every 30 to 45 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan, and roast for 3 to 4 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. (The meat temperature should be 165°).
Rest the turkey: Cover cooked turkey with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
- Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container in the fridge and store up to 4 days. The gravy will last in the fridge, covered, for 2 days, or 1 week if you bring it to a full boil before serving.
- To freeze your leftovers, I would shred the remaining turkey and store in an airtight container. You can also store the turkey in individual sized containers for easier thawing. It will last up to 4 months. Thaw either in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of chicken broth.
- Save the bones! These will make the most delicious stock that you can add as the base to many a soup!
Calories: 633kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 252mg | Sodium: 5749mg | Potassium: 977mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 487IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 4mg