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Lemon Herb Dry-brined Roasted Turkey |

Lemon Herb Dry-Brined Roasted Turkey

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Aberdeen


Units Scale
  • 10 lb turkey, thawed (unsalted, non Kosher)
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt*
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly minced + a few extra stalks
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, roughly minced + a few extra stalks
  • 1 sweet onion, halved and cut into large chunks (about 6 pieces per half)
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine


  1. Mix salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Remove turkey from packaging and place on a cutting board. Remove neck and giblets. Discard or save for another use.
  2. Pat the turkey dry using paper towels. Tuck the tips of the wings underneath the breast, back behind the neck area or truss as desired.
  3. Liberally sprinkle the brine mixture all over the turkey, including a little bit in side the cavity.*
  4. Place on a roasting pan and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, preferably 1 to 3 days.*
  5. When ready to roast your turkey, remove the turkey and the roasting pan from the fridge and let come to room temperature for an hour.
  6. After an hour, preheat the oven to 450˚F. Brush the turkey with melted butter, drizzle with juice of 1/2 a lemon, and top with chopped herbs.
  7. Fill the cavity with 2 garlic cloves, half of the onion, 2 lemon halves and a couple of the herb stalks. Place the remaining onion, garlic, lemon, and herbs on the bottom of the roasting pan.
  8. Pour chicken broth and white wine into the roasting pan
  9. Place the turkey on a middle rack in the oven. Reduce the heat immediately to 350˚F. Rule of thumb is 13 minutes for every pound of turkey. I cooked my 10 lb turkey for just over 2 hours.
  10. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes with the liquid on the bottom of the pan. IF the liquid has started to evaporate too quickly, add some more chicken broth to the roasting pan. Start checking the temperature of your turkey about halfway through it's cooking time and adjust accordingly. Insert a thermometer into through the side of the breast, and into the inner and outer thigh. Once the temperature reads 165 or above in all three areas, the turkey is finished!
  11. If your turkey is quite large and starts getting a little too brown on the outside but is not done on the inside, cover with some aluminum foil until cooked all the way through.
  12. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover in foil if you have not already done so, and let rest for 30 minutes before carving. While resting, feel free to make a gravy using the roasting pan sauce!


General consensus for a dry brine is about 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt for every pound of turkey.

If desired, loosen the skin from the meat, cutting through the membrane and salt the meat as well as the skin.

If a raw turkey in your refrigerator makes you nervous, gently and loosely cover it with some saran wrap.