Perfect Turkey Recipe -
Perfect Turkey Recipe
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Perfect Turkey
Make a perfect turkey, every time. See more
  • READY IN 17 hr

Perfect Turkey

Recipe by  

"A perfectly seasoned and juicy turkey. My friend from France taught me to cook turkey like this, but she never measures anything so use your own judgment for vegetable amounts, etc. I usually err on the side of 'more is better'!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 (18 pound) turkey Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    4 hrs

    17 hrs


  1. Rub the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Place the bird in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water. Place in the refrigerator, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture.
  3. Brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover with the white wine.
  4. Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.
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  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 04, 2009

Just a quick tip on how to brine a turkey, especially when your fridge is full of other holiday goodies! Ive done it this way for a few years now, and it works great. Instead of soaking in the stock pot overnight, I put the turkey & brine mixture in a oven bag, squeeze out the air, and tie it shut. Put the bagged turkey in a cooler with ice overnight.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 14, 2007

I bought a small turkey to try this recipe because I didn't want to serve something that wasn't perfect on Thanksgiving day and boy am I glad I did!! Yes this turkey was moist, but the flavor and moistness was exactly the same as when you use a turkey oven bag. And I COULDN'T stuff it with this recipe. I'm sticking with what works.

Jan 25, 2004

This really does make the juiciest turkey. Cooks Illustrated magazine recommends letting the turkey sit in the refrigerator for several hours uncovered after rinsing off the brine, so that the skin will brown and crisp up.

Nov 17, 2010

I loved this recipe when I made it last year for Christmas, but I have a question...when I turned the bird 2/3 through cooking it fell apart. Does anyone know why? Did I cook it too long?

Dec 11, 2005

This is outrageous. My husband was a serious skeptic of the brining process... until carving time came. I'm amazed the bird made it to the table! Absolutely amazing. *Definitely* use more vegetables. Especially carrots. I added a smidge of wine to the gravy I made from the drippings and it set it off perfectly. Definitely the best gravy we've ever had -- which we didn't even need with such a moist, delicious turkey! Thank you!

Dec 22, 2006

fantastic!!! i will never make a turkey another way again!!! The veggies were awesome! I was so nervous to flip the turkey cause I was by myself!!, but I have a tip...take 2 pot holders and put them in freezer ziplock bags. put your hands in the bags, grab the bird and flip!!! it was sooooooo easy...i didn't even burn!!!

Jan 10, 2006

Had to downsize recipe since I only had a 12lb turkey. This is the only way I will do turkey from now on. I changed it slightly by stuffing the turky with chopped apples instead of the veggies and put all the veggies in the pan. Also added double the amount of white wine.

Dec 31, 2005

I highly recommend this turkey recipe! Made it for Thanksgiving and it's the best one and the easiest that I've used. The brining makes the turkey superbly moist and flavourful. I used aluminium foil to cover it for 2/3 of the cooking time. The vegetables outside the turkey were too oily for my family's taste, and the stuffed vegetables were still very crunchy. I will boil the stuffed vegetables first next time.


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