Recipe : How To Make The Best Turkey Ever!

Thanksgiving is a time to get together with friends and family to enjoy each other’s company and give thanks. Every year we host a large Friends-giving dinner and I wanted to share my husband’s famous turkey recipe. From brine to gravy, follow these steps to prepare the perfect turkey for your next feast!

Go ahead, you can salivate.


1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds)

7 quarts (28 cups) water
1 ½ cups coarse salt

6 cups apple cider vinegar


1 bunch fresh thyme

1 bunch fresh sage

1 bunch fresh rosemary

1 bunch fresh parsley
1 stick of butter

½ bottle white wine

4 carrots

4 celery

6 shallots

2 (32oz) cartons of chicken broth



salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Make the Brine

One day before roasting turkey, bring 1quart of water and the salt to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Submerge the Turkey

Place the turkey in a large oven roasting bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts of water, and vinegar. Tie bag; if the turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.

If there isn’t room in your refrigerator, place the bagged bird inside a cooler, and surround it with ice, replenishing as necessary to keep it at 40 degrees.

Step 3: Remove and Season

Remove turkey from brine one hour before you’re ready to roast it, and pat it dry inside and out. Mince the parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Melt the butter and mix in the minced seasonings.  Apply that mixture both on the outside of the raw turkey and underneath the skin.

Step 4: Prepare the Broth

White the seasoning marinates on the chicken, chop up carrots, celery, and shallots. Put the vegetables in the bottom of the turkey pan and add the chicken broth, white wine, and salt and pepper.

Step 5: Roast

Place the Turkey in the pan and tent with tin foil. Set the oven to 325 degrees and cook approximately 15 minutes for each pound. Take the tent off the bird for the last hour. Use a turkey baster to coat the top of the bird with drippings to make sure it does not get burned or dry out. Let the turkey sit for 30 minutes before cutting.

Step 6: Prepare the Gravy

Place a metal strainer over a fat separator and pour in the broth, drippings, and vegetables from the bottom of the turkey pan. The processed vegetables will thicken and add flavor to the gravy. Pour the pureed mixture into a pot. Turn the stove on low and stir in flower and water until it reaches the desired thickness. Add salt and pepper for flavor.

If hosting a big party make sure to include plenty of chicken broth in the bottom of the turkey pan to ensure there is enough gravy for the entire party.

Meredith Banzhoff
Meredith Banzhoff


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