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Alton Brown Turkey Brine and Good Eats Roast Turkey image

Alton Brown's turkey brine recipe from Good Eats will give you a flavorful Thanksgiving turkey with juicy white and dark meat.

Provided by Alton Brown

Categories     Thanksgiving     Turkey     Poultry     Christmas     Fall     Christmas Eve     Winter

Yield At least 10-12 servings

Number Of Ingredients 17

For Turkey Brine
One 14-16-pound frozen natural, young turkey
1 gallon vegetable broth (homemade or canned)
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1½ teaspoons allspice berries
1½ tablespoons candied ginger, chopped
1 gallon H2O, iced
For Roasting
1 red apple, quartered
½ onion, quartered
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup H20
4 sprigs rosemary
6 sage leaves
Canola oil


  • Two to three days before roasting, thaw the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38° F, tops.
  • To make the turkey brine: Combine the broth, salt, sugar, peppercorns, allspice, and finger 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, then refrigerate the brine.
  • The eve before roasting, combine the brine and the iced water in a cooler. Place the thawed turkey (guts, neck, and whatnot removed) breast side down in the brine. Seal up the cooler and use it as an ottoman. Target bring time: 12 hours; flip the bird once about halfway through.
  • On roasting day: Heat the oven to 500°F. Remove the bird from the brine and rinse inside and out. Discard brine.
  • Place the bird on a roasting rack and place inside a roasting pan. Pat the bird dry (inside and out) with paper towels.
  • Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon, and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add to the turkey's cavity, along with the rosemary and sage. Truss, if you like.
  • Lightly coat the bird with canola oil. Roast the bird on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Roast until the thermometer registers 155°F, about 2½ hours.
  • Remove from the oven, cover closely with aluminum foil, and let rest for a least 15 minutes before carving.

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