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Herb-Roasted Turkey


For the traditionalists, sometimes all you want is a simple roasted turkey. We chose Freddy Vargas', of James Beard Award-winning Scarpetta in Beverly Hills, herb roasted turkey. He knows how to add flavor to a bird without overdoing it, with a brine of toasted spices and flavorful spice rub under the skin for roasting.


For the brine

  • 3 Tablespoons whole black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons whole white pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 Ounce sage
  • 1 Ounce rosemary
  • 1 Ounce thyme
  • 1 Ounce oregano
  • 4 Cups cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 gallons water
  • 3 Cups salt
  • 2 Cups brown sugar

For roasting the turkey

  • 1 Cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 Cup rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 Cup chopped thyme
  • 1/4 Cup chopped oregano
  • 1/2 Cup sliced garlic
  • 1 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 20-pound turkey


For the brine

Toast the spices and then wrap in a cheese cloth and place in pot, along with the herbs, garlic, and water. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat and add the salt and brown sugar. Stir with a whisk and allow the mixture to cool. When the mixture reaches room temperature, place the turkeys inside the brine and let it sit for 24 hours, refrigerated.  

For roasting the turkey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place all of the herbs and the olive oil in a bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Rub the herb mixture inside the skin of the turkey — do not place outside of the turkey breast because it will burn during the cooking process.

Place the turkey in the oven and cook until internal temperature reads 160, about 5-6 hours, then remove and allow to rest. During resting, it will reach 165 degrees.