Perfect Roasted Brined Turkey

As a part of my Teacher. Foodie. Athlete. Does Thanksgving series, we go above and beyond the minimum requirements for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of just doing this perfectly roasted turkey, I also do a Cajun deep fried turkey.

Growing up, we always had the typical stuffed roasted turkey. Don fix what isn’t broken, right? A simple brine makes the classic so moist, and sausage stuffing makes the perfect side!



20 pound turkey – giblets removed and set aside for gravy
Stuffing – try this recipe for Sausage Stuffing!
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper

For Brine –
6 cups apple cider
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
3 Tbsp. sage leaves
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
5 sprigs of thyme
1 onion – quartered
3 cloves garlic – crushed
2 oranges – sliced

1. At least 24 hours before roasting, heat all brine ingredients in a large pot over medium heat until brown sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool COMPLETELY. Place the turkey in a plastic bag (garbage bag works great!) and add the brine to the bag. Place bag in a large pot and pack with ice. Allow to rest for 24 hours while occasionally adding more ice as it melts.
2. When ready to roast, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove turkey from brine and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Loosely pack both cavities with stuffing. Do not cram in! Stuffing needs space to expand when cooking.
3. Truss the turkey, rub down with olive oil, and generously season with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting rack and pan, and roast for about 5 hours while occasionally basting.
4. About 3 hours through (or when skin is browned) cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning.
5. When the thickest part of the breast reaches 180 degrees and the stuffing reaches 165, remove the turkey and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes before carving.