Roast Turkey with Herbs Recipe -

Roast Turkey with Herbs

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"A glistening roast turkey, while making a striking centerpiece of most holiday tables, often becomes horribly dry after hours in the oven. The secret to a juicy turkey is to invest some time soaking your bird in a saltwater solution known as brine. For this recipe, all you need to brine your own is a clean garbage bag, two gallons of water, and two cups of kosher salt. Place the turkey and the brining solution in the garbage bag. Then place the bag in a roasting pan and leave it in the refrigerator to soak overnight. If you intend to buy a bigger or smaller bird, figure on 1 1/2 pounds per person."

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Original recipe makes 10 servings Change Servings


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry inside and out. Tie together celery, fresh sage, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf into a bundle and place inside body cavity along with ancho pepper and shallots. Mix ground cumin, pepper, dried thyme, dried sage, and salt with olive oil.
  2. Carefully loosen turkey's skin without tearing from the breast and legs, and massage oil and spice mixture all over and under the skin. Tie the end of the drumsticks together over the body opening and tuck the wingtips underneath. Place on roasting rack in large roasting pan and roast in oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. Remove from oven and let turkey rest on serving platter while you continue with making the gravy. Discard the contents of the turkey cavity except for the shallots. Pour off all the liquid and solids from the roasting pan into a saucepan to make gravy.
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  • Note
  • This recipe is optimal for Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet.
  • Copyright© 2003 Waterfront Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

Reviews More Reviews

Oct 09, 2006

This recipe was fantastic. The brining technique made it the juiciest turkey I have EVER eaten.

Dec 22, 2007

This recipe is fantastic! I didn't have the ancho peper, and I used dried herbs rather than fresh,but this was sooo good. my husband and friends loved it and I'm pretty sure it will be my holiday recipe from now on. thanks!

Apr 02, 2007

This is the only recipe I will ever use again for turkey! It was the most succulent turkey our family has ever had and now I'm the official turkey baker!

Dec 11, 2006

Absolutely the best! I soaked it in a garbage bag in a bucket overnight, added the herbs and rub, and got rave reviews. People who don't like turkey because it's too dry like this turkey! I made it for Thanksgiving and am looking forward to making it again for Christmas.

Dec 02, 2008

I wanted to try a new recipe this thanksgiving and gave this one a try. It was the best! I always cook in a reynolds oven bag and did this one in a bag as well. (so I followed the oven bag directions for baking). I was nervous about brining... but it was very tender and juicy. I was REALLY nervous about all of the spices I was to rub on the turkey... very heavy on the cumin... but it worked well and was delicious! I'm doing my turkey like this again next year too!

Nov 25, 2006

Delicious turkey! I have made turkey with a more complicated brine - this was simple, delicious and easy. Next time I may try the citrus brine just to compare - 5 stars for both ease and taste...always brine - it's the way to ensure juciness!

Oct 13, 2009

Mmmmmmm! I have made this every Christmas and Thanksgiving for the past three years. So delicious, moist, and flavorful!

Jan 11, 2006

This is the best turkey recipes I've ever made. Delicious.


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  • Calories
  • 933 kcal
  • 47%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 5.7 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 317 mg
  • 106%
  • Fat
  • 49.4 g
  • 76%
  • Fiber
  • 1.5 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 109.8 g
  • 220%
  • Sodium
  • 1427 mg
  • 57%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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