Citrus and Herb Brined Roasted Turkey with Gravy

Angela Gray


My husband has been making our turkey this way for the past couple of years. This is a recipe he found on Emeril Lagasse's site and it is a winner ! The brine not only gives the Turkey a fantastic flavor but makes it soo incredibly moist. My husband is a great cook and I dedicate this post to him ! Love you baby...


★★★★★ 3 votes

depends on turkey size
12 Hr
4 Hr


Add to Grocery List

see below

How to Make Citrus and Herb Brined Roasted Turkey with Gravy


  • 1Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.

    Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • 2Brine:

    1 cup salt
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 oranges, quartered
    2 lemons, quartered
    6 sprigs thyme
    4 sprigs rosemary

    To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.

    Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.
  • 3***Turkey Stock for basting and making gravy***

    **Make this before you put your bird in the oven**

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    Reserved turkey neck and giblets
    1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
    1 onion, coarsely chopped
    1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
    1 small bay leaf
    3 cups canned turkey stock, chicken stock, or canned low-salt chicken broth
    3 cups water

    For the turkey stock: Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the turkey neck, heart, and gizzard to the pan and saute until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Pour the stock and 3 cups of water into the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the stock is reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour, adding the chopped liver to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

    Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Pull the meat off the neck, chop the neck meat and giblets, and set aside.
    ***You will use this stock to baste the turkey and for the gravy.
  • 4***Ingredients for inside of Turkey cavity***

    1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
    1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
    1 large orange, cut into 8ths
    1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
    2 bay leaves
    2 sprigs thyme
    ** 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting.
  • 5Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

    Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with the butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.
  • 6Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock.
  • 7Remove the Turkey from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  • 8***Gravy***
  • 9For the pan gravy: Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat. Place the roasting pan on 2 stove top burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup.
  • 10In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved neck meat and giblets to the pan and adjust seasoning, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.
  • 11The turkey is so moist and flavorful done this way, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, enjoy !

Printable Recipe Card

About Citrus and Herb Brined Roasted Turkey with Gravy

Course/Dish: Turkey, Roasts

Show 15 Comments & Reviews

8 Delicious Ground Turkey Recipes

8 Delicious Ground Turkey Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Ground turkey is a great way to make your favorite meals a bit healthier. These recipes are so tasty, you won't even miss the original!

Healthy, Flavorful Recipes For The New Year

Healthy, Flavorful Recipes for the New Year

Kitchen Crew

The holiday season is a time for indulgence... and, oh boy, did I indulge. I don't regret the pieces of cake and all the cookies, but it's time to reset...

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Stuffing A Turkey Recipe

The Do’s and Don’ts of Stuffing a Turkey

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Are you team stuffing or team dressing? Either way, there’s a right way and a wrong way to stuff your Thanksgiving bird. Check out this guideline you need to know...