Perfect Roasted Turkey

I really haven’t had the time to post all of the delectable recipes we tried for Thanksgiving this year. But we finally survived making our very first turkey! The turkey breast was tender, moist, and flavorful. We decided to brine it using Martha Stewart Perfect Roast Turkey.

Roasted Brine Turkey

1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), brined
Turkey Brine – see recipe below
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Remove turkey from brine. Discard brine.
  2. Pat turkey dry inside and out with paper towels. Place, breast side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lowest position.
    Fold a piece of cheesecloth (about 3 feet long) into thirds, place inside turkey cavity, and open up to create a pouch.
    Loosely fill cheesecloth pouch with stuffing (do not pack tightly), and tuck in ends of cheesecloth to close.
  5. Tuck wings underneath the turkey, and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
    Brush turkey all over with butter, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast turkey, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes and rotating the pan after 2 hours, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh registers 165 degrees, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
    Remove stuffing pouch, and then empty it into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
    Cover if desired, and return stuffing to oven; bake until it registers 165 degrees, about 30 minutes more.
    Transfer turkey to a platter, reserving pan juices for gravy.
    Let turkey stand for 30 minutes before carving.

Turkey Brine

  • 7 quarts (28 cups) water
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing
  • 1 bottle dry Riesling
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme

Turkey Brine Direction

  1. Bring 1 quart water, the salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Line a 5-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag; if turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.

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