Brining That Bird!

Sherry Peyton Recipe

By Sherry Peyton SherryPeyton

Prep Time:
Cook Time:

Yes, it's extra work. But the results are so spectacular that you will never go back again. Brining makes your turkey so juicy, that even the "hate that dry meat" folks will be beggin' for more. I'll give you directions on how to prepare and roast it as well! If you like this recipe, see my website at


12-14 lb
1 - 2 c
salt, kosher preferred
6 sprig(s)
fresh thyme
bay leaves
1 bottle
white wine or apple juice
water to cover
onions, chunked
carrots, chunked
ribs celery
1 bunch
assorted fresh herbs
3-4 Tbsp
butter or olive oil
1 qt
chicken stock (give or take)

Directions Step-By-Step

The most important element to the brine is the salt. Use whatever herbs or liquids you choose. Plain water is fine. You want to start this by 7 am the DAY BEFORE you are roasting. Dissolve the salt in couple of cups of water and then let cool. Use a large 10 gallon container, or a freezer container that has been cleaned. You can line with a large garbage bag (not a scented one!)
Place the turkey and the herbs and so forth in the bag, remove the giblets from the turkey and place in the container. Fill with the brine and water/wine until bird is covered.
This must be kept below 40 degrees! So refrigerate, ice the freezer container, or place in an unheated garage (if you live in a cold climate and the temps are staying below 40.) Cover the container, place a weight on top if you have to worry about animals.
Leave for 12 hours. So at 7 pm you are ready to remove. Drain the bird until it stops dripping. Then place in a container UNCOVERED and place in fridge for 12 hours.
Remove fridge, and allow to sit covered loosely until ready for the oven. Fill the cavity with the fresh herbs. Cut up the onions, carrots and celery. Add chicken stock or water so veggies won't burn.
Prepare the bird by tying up legs and tucking in wings. Grease with butter on the outside or with olive oil. Place in a v-rack BREAST SIDE DOWN. Roast at 400 for 45 min.
Remove from oven, baste with juices from pan, and give the bird a quarter turn (one wing up)Return for 15 minutes. Remove and repeat with another quarter turn, (breast down) for another 15 minutes. Remove and repeat with another quarter turn, (the other wing up), for 15 minutes, and then finally remove and return to breast side down, and roast until temperature is 175 in thigh. --about 30-45 minutes.
When done, remove from oven, tent foil over the bird and let set for at least 30 minutes before touching. (it will hold for a good hour anyway.) Slice and serve.
Remove the veggies from the roasting pan and use the drippings and stock to make the gravy along with the giblets.
The basic idea of brining can be used for any poultry, just adjust the amounts of salt and liquid of course. Great for geese and duck and chicken of course!

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Turkey
Hashtags: #Poultry, #roasting, #brine

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Karen Richardson KarenRichardson
Nov 24, 2012
Sherry, I will never ever ever ever cook a turkey any other way... I did this exactly how you wrote it... used apple juice combined with water. It came out nice and juicy.. even my brother-in-law and father-in-law loved it and they are hard to please. Thanks!
Kathleen Quetin kquetin
Nov 19, 2012
I have always added citrus to my brine. If anyone has an opinion on that little "addition" let me know before Wednesday! :)
dottie weber mammaw20
Nov 19, 2011
Sherry,Did u recieve my email?
Sherry Peyton SherryPeyton
Nov 19, 2011
Don't worry about it dottie. You can put it in a pan and heat it to boiling. Just a few cups. Then cool it down and add to the rest of the water. But really, lots of folks add the salt to cold water and leave it at that. It's not as scary as you think. I'll keep running up my e-mail or write me at and I'll help more if you need it.
dottie weber mammaw20
Nov 19, 2011
Sherry,I hope u r close by,I can't get the kosher salt to dissolve in the hot water.I can't believe it....HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!