The Best Turkey Recipe Ever

The Best Turkey Recipe Ever
Staff Writer
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The pinnacle of the Thanksgiving meal is, of course, the turkey — and we want to make sure that you are fully equipped and prepared to cook it just right. Don’t get wrapped up in Turkey Day chaos. Take a deep breath, relax, and follow this easy recipe to cook a juicy and moist turkey.

For more turkey talk, head over to The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving.

6
Servings
1209
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the brine

  • 12 Cups water, divided
  • 1 Cup kosher salt
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 sprigs each of sage, thyme, and rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • One 12- to 14-pound turkey
  • 4 Cups ice

To roast

  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 Cups water or broth
  • 2 sprigs each of parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary
  • black pepper, to taste

Directions

For the brine

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a simmering boil. Add salt and sugar and stir until it has dissolved completely. Turn off the heat and add 8 cups water, apple cider vinegar, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and ice. 

Remove giblets and neck from the cavity of the turkey. Rinse the inside and outside of the turkey, and, using paper towles, pat the turkey dry. Transfer the brine to a brining bag or large pot. Submerge the turkey into the brine, making sure the brine is inside the cavity. Seal bag or cover pot and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for 12 hours. After the turkey has brined, remove it from the liquid, and rinse it off and pat it dry with paper towels. Place in the roasting rack for 1 hour to take the chill off the meat before roasting. Truss the turkey by tying the legs together with kitchen string and pinning the wings under the turkey. 

To roast

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roast the turkey at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Then cover the breast area with aluminum foil, reduce heat to 350 degrees, add 2 cups of water or broth to the roasting pan, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Baste frequently, to promote even browning, but be sure to keep the oven door shut in between basting so the heat doesn’t escape.

When the turkey has reached the desired temperature, remove from the oven, and tilt the turkey so the inside liquids run out into the pan. Lift the whole turkey and transfer to a clean cutting board. Tent the turkey with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving. Reserve the drippings for the gravy.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
40g
57%
Sugar
34g
38%
Saturated Fat
9g
38%
Cholesterol
3mg
1%
Carbohydrate, by difference
194g
100%
Protein
20g
43%
Vitamin A, RAE
1027µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
2mg
100%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
1mg
1%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
13µg
14%
Calcium, Ca
683mg
68%
Choline, total
24mg
6%
Fiber, total dietary
23g
92%
Fluoride, F
11µg
0%
Folate, total
347µg
87%
Iron, Fe
34mg
100%
Magnesium, Mg
158mg
49%
Manganese, Mn
3mg
100%
Niacin
21mg
100%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
533mg
76%
Riboflavin
2mg
100%
Selenium, Se
28µg
51%
Sodium, Na
1047mg
70%
Thiamin
2mg
100%
Water
473g
18%
Zinc, Zn
4mg
50%

Turkey Shopping Tip

Thanksgiving is not the only time to consume turkey. Now readily available year-round, be sure to take advantage of this chicken substitute.

Turkey Cooking Tip

For juicy meat, be sure to brine the turkey.