• 1 C. salt, preferably kosher
  • 1/2-1 C. brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1-2 T. peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6-8 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed




  1. On Tuesday before Thanksgiving, combine the brine ingredients in a large pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt and sugar. Then remove the brine from the heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.
  2. On Wednesday before Thanksgiving, add 1 gallon of heavily iced water to the brine. Place the turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in a large brining bag. I set my brining bag inside of a clean bucket to give it support. Pour the brine and ice water mixture over the turkey, making sure it is completely immersed. Close your brining bag and set in a cool place or in the fridge for 10-18 hours.
  3. 2-3 hours before you want to eat on Thanksgiving Day, preheat the oven to 500° F (260° C).
  4. Remove the turkey from the brine and rise it inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
  5. Place the turkey on a grilling rack over a large baking pan and pat it dry with paper towels.
  6. Place some herbs (rosemary, sage), an onion cut in half and a lemon or two cut in half, inside the cavity of the turkey.
  7. Tuck the wings underneath the turkey and coat the entire bird with canola oil. Or, if you prefer, you can cover the turkey breast with slices of uncooked bacon which keeps the breast moist and gives it even more flavor.
  8. Roast the turkey at 500° F (260 ° C) on the lowest shelf of the oven for 30 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350° F (180° C) and roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the fullest part of the breast registers 160° F (71° C). Ovens are all a bit different, and depending how often you open it, how insulated it is, etc., can cause the roasting time to vary. It should take about 2-2 ½ hours.
  9. Let the turkey rest loosely covered with foil for 15 minutes before carving.


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