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Course: Mains
Keyword: Fall, Gluten-Free, Holidays, Meats, Thanksgiving, Traditional Roast Turkey

Traditional Roast Turkey

ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
An overnight brine makes all the difference in this moist and meaty traditional roast turkey. A quick roast in a hot oven ensures perfectly golden brown, crispy skin.
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Specialized Hardware

5-gallon bucket
Probe thermometer
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 10 to 12 servings


  • Two to three days before roasting: Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38ºF.
  • Combine the broth, salt, sugar, peppercorns, allspice, and ginger in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate the brine.
  • The night before you'd like to eat: Truss the legs of the turkey with kitchen twine, if desired. Combine the brine, water, and ice in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey, with innards removed, breast-side down in the brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or place everything in a cooler. Turn the bird once halfway through brining.
  • Day of roasting: Heat the oven to 500ºF. Remove the bird from the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
  • Place the bird on a roasting rack set inside a half-sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the bird with canola oil. Roast the bird on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
  • While the bird is cooking, fold and shape a double layer of aluminum foil into a closely fitting breastplate.
  • After 30 minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 350ºF, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, and cook until the temperature reaches 155ºF. Use the breastplate at any point during cooking should the bird become too brown.
  • Rest the bird, covered lightly with aluminum foil, for 15 to 30 minutes. Carve and serve.
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