Easy Dry Brined Herb Butter Roasted Turkey
Thanksgiving might be over, but I have not shared my turkey recipe with you yet! This Dry Brined Herb Butter Roasted Turkey is easy to make if you follow my instructions, very flavorful and super juicy.
Is everyone ready for Christmas? I sure am! This is the very first whole turkey that I roasted myself. This Dry Brined Herb Butter Roasted Turkey was so delicious!
Every year around Thanksgiving I’ve been debating to roast or not to roast a turkey. But there always is someone else, a more experienced cook to save me from this activity. And I’ve been very grateful for that, because I was just scared to try it.
Not scared from the process, but the result. What if I roast a turkey for you holiday dinner and it goes wrong? What if the breast gets overcooked and the red meat is undercooked?
Well this year I did my research. I decided it was finally time to go ahead and do it. And because I usually don’t like cooking holiday recipes just for the blog, I’m sharing my Thanksgiving turkey very late.
But if you decide to try the recipe, you can definitely try it for Christmas.
I went with a 12 pound turkey and did a dry brine for 24 hours.
Then I kind of followed my roast chicken recipe and made herb butter, which I covered the turkey with and I also rubbed it under the skin at the breast area.
You can even dry brine a frozen turkey. All you need to do is add the brine 3 days prior to roasting the turkey and keep it in the fridge. Salt will help with defrosting.
I also added an extra step in this Dry Brined Herb Butter Roasted Turkey Recipe, which helps with crispy skin. I start the brining of a defrosted turkey 2 days in advance and keep the brine on it for one day. they I rinse and dry it and let it sit in the fridge uncovered for one more day before roasting. This helps the skin dry out and it turns very crispy.
I did have to cover the breast at some point, because I was scared of it drying out and this worked perfectly. the turkey turned out amazing.
The reason why I did not do a wet brine for this turkey is that I did not have space in the fridge. There was a cake and a lot of other food, so I did not have enough space to place a large bucket.
I’m extremely happy with how this Dry Brined Herb Butter Roasted Turkey turned out! Not bad for a first timer!
The breast meat remained very juicy and the red meat was perfectly cooked. The skin was crispy and golden.
- one 10-12 pound turkey — (if using a bigger one, cooking time needs to be increased)
- 3/4 cup salt
For the herb butter:
- 2 sticks of butter softened
- juice from one medium lemon
- 3 garlic cloves pressed
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 apple — , sliced but not peeled
- 1 small onion — , peeled and quartered
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 small orange — , quartered
- parsley and thyme springs — (optional)
- olive oil
For the dry brine: Start 48 hours before you have to roast the turkey.
You can brine the turkey in the fridge even if it is still frozen, but I did defrost mine.
Remove turkey from the package. Remove the neck and bag of giblets. Rinse and pat dry. Measure about 1 tbsp salt and spread it inside the turkey. (You can use gloves here) - using your hands rub generous amount of salt over the whole turkey. Make sue there is a lot of salt over the breast. Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for 24 hours.
After 24 hours remove the turkey from the bag and wash it very well, so there is no salt left. Dry with paper towels. Place in a deep bowl and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours. This will make the skin very crisp.
Take turkey out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
For the herb butter:
In a bowl combine butter, lemon juice, pepper, parsley, garlic and thyme. Mix to combine.
Using a spoon, gently separate the skin from the beat around the breast at the front and back of the turkey. Using your fingers, spread some of the butter between the breast and the skin. Evenly spread the remaining mixture over the whole turkey. Stuff the turkey with the apple, onion, orange, garlic, thyme and parsley. You may want to tie the legs together so the cavity is closed, using a baker's twine.
Spray some olive oil on top if the turkey and sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper.
To roast the turkey:
Preheat oven to 425F. Place rack more towards the bottom of the oven. Grease a baking dish with some oil. Line the bottom with sliced onion, carrots and parsnips (optional). Roast turkey for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste. If the turkey has not released enough juice, you can baste with 1/2 cup chicken stock initially.
Turn the oven temperature down to 350F and continue cooking the turkey. Bake for 2 hours and 30 minutes for 10-12 pound turkey. Baste every 25-30 minutes. When the breast starts to turn golden you can cover it with aluminum foil, so it doesn't burn. (Make sure you spray the foil wit some oil, so it doesn't stick to the skin and tear it off).
The turkey is considered cooked, when a thermometer inserted reads 160 F for the breast and 180 F for the thighs. Once you reduce the temperature, it takes around 13 minutes per pound for the turkey to cook.
Once the turkey is cooked, transfer to a plate or cutting board and let it cool for at least 20 minutes. Carve, serve and enjoy.
10 to 12 pounds: 2½ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds: 2¾ to 3¼ hours
14 to 16 pounds: 3 to 3¾ hours
16 to 18 pounds: 3¼ to 4 hours
18 to 20 pounds: 3½ to 4¼ hours
20+ pounds: 3¾ to 4½ hours
Nutrition InformationCalories: 666, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 292mg, Sodium: 7636mg, Potassium: 744mg, Carbohydrates: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 70g, Vitamin A: 905%, Vitamin C: 1.1%, Calcium: 48%, Iron: 2.9%
What a gorgeous turkey, Mira! I’ve never made my own before, but I love the idea of using a dry brine. Sounds so flavorful! I hope you have a very merry Christmas, friend!
Brave girl! I feel the same as you – not very confident about cooking joints of meat, especially when it’s for a big celebration.
This looks absolutely amazing, though, with some really lovely flavours in it.
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Mira!!
Честита и весела Коледа! Здраве и много усмивки, добрина и мечти! всичко да е на куп! Поздрави от мен!
Честита Коледа! Много здраве и усмивки!
Your first turkey turned out gorgeous, Mira, and dry brining is the way to go in my book! Hope you had a great Christmas!
I am a huge fan of brining, even if I’m making just simple chicken breasts because the meat needs help in the flavor department. I will definitely try this brine.