Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

dean's delicious turkey using a wet brine

Recipe by
Connie Ottman
Orlando, FL

Absolutely delicious! A very good friend of mine has been making his turkeys this way for years. The recipe was handed down by his father. The brine penetrates the turkey, making it moist and delicious! You do need to brine the thawed turkey overnight, so, plan ahead. The recipe looks like a lot of steps but many of them are really short. This turkey is well worth the effort. However, I wouldn't try a new recipe for the first time on a holiday:) Pictures will be taken and posted after Dean makes his turkey for this Thanksgiving.

yield 8 with leftovers
prep time 12 Hr 25 Min
cook time 3 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For dean's delicious turkey using a wet brine

  • brine
  • 2 quarts
  • 1 Tbsp
    orange peel spice
  • 1/2 c
    orange juice, fresh
  • 2 c
    kosher salt
  • 1 c
  • 10
    bay leaves
  • 14
    black peppercorns, whole
  • 1 bag
    10# ice
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    thyme, dried
  • 1 lg
  • in the roaster
  • 1/2 bunch
    celery, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 lg
    orange, quartered
  • 1 lg
    sweet onion, quartered
  • 1 lg
    red onion
  • 3 sm
    apples, quartered
  • 1/2 bag
    shredded carrots
  • 1 qt
    chicken stock
  • 1
    15# thawed turkey
  • 3 stick
    herbed butter
  • paprika
  • lawry's seasoning

How To Make dean's delicious turkey using a wet brine

  • 1
    Mix first 9 ingredients together in a large sauce pan.
  • 2
    Bring mixed ingredients to a boil.
  • 3
    Turn down heat and let ingredients simmer 10 minutes. Cool.
  • 4
    In the meantime, place thawed turkey, breast side down, in cooler.
  • 5
    Cover turkey with 2 quarts water,the cooled down ingredients in the sauce pan. Stir to mix.
  • 6
    Add the ice along sides of turkey.
  • 7
    Cover cooler and brine over night.
  • 8
    Next morning, remove turkey and pat dry. Set aside.
  • 9
    Place rack into roasting pan. ( If you don't have a rack, you can coil 4 or 5 rounds of aluminum foil and place in roaster.)
  • 10
    Into roaster pan, add celery, orange, onions, apples, carrots and chicken stock.
  • 11
    Back to the turkey...separate breast and the drum sticks skin from body carefully. This is done by wiggling your fingers between the body and skin of the bird.
  • 12
    Smear herbed butter between the body and the skin, going as far down as you can.
  • 13
    Place remaining butter in the turkey cavity.
  • 14
    Sprinkle Lawry's salt and paprika all over turkey, front and back and inside cavity.
  • 15
    Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • 16
    Place turkey, breast side down, onto roasting rack (or aluminum coils) and place into oven.
  • 17
    Roast turkey for 30 minutes; then, turn down oven to 325 degrees.
  • 18
    Roast for another hour, basting bird ever 30 minutes.
  • 19
    After 1/1/2 hours, take turkey out of the oven's hot!
  • 20
    Carefully turn turkey breast side up and roast for another hour, basting every 30 minutes.
  • 21
    After an hour, remove roasting pan and loosely cover turkey with aluminum foil, like a tent.
  • 22
    Return to oven for an additional hour, continue the basting.
  • 23
    Take turkey out of oven and verify that turkey has reached 172 degrees, inside the thigh, with a roasting thermometer.
  • 24
    If turkey has not reached the 172 degrees, return to the oven checking temperature every 15 minutes. Be carefully not to overcook the turkey. It will be dried out if you do.
  • 25
    Take turkey out of the oven, remove from roaster, place on large cutting board. (I use one with grooves along the sides that catch juices.)
  • 26
    Let Turkey rest for 45 -60 minutes.
  • 27
    Carve, Serve, Enjoy.