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Classic Dry-Brined Turkey
This recipe was developed using Morton kosher salt, which varies by volume from coarser kosher salts such as Diamond Crystal. If using a coarse kosher salt instead, you'll need 7 tablespoons. Be sure to use a nonkosher turkey or one that has not been pre-salted or brined for this recipe.
5 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt
2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (14-lb.) turkey, defrosted if frozen, neck and giblets discarded or saved for making gravy, if desired
4 shallots, halved lengthwise
1 lemon, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
5 sprigs thyme
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
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Classic Dry-Brined Turkey

Classic Dry-Brined Turkey

Classic Dry-Brined Turkey
  • Servings:Serves 12 to 16
  • Prep Time:1440 minutes
  • Cook Time:210 minutes
1. Mix salt, brown sugar, and pepper in a small bowl to make a dry brine.
2. Pat turkey very dry with paper towels, including inside of cavity. Using your fingers, gently separate skin from the breast and leg meat, carefully so as not to tear skin. Rub 1 teaspoon brine under skin of each breast and 1 teaspoon under skin of each leg. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon brine inside cavity and remaining 4 1/2 tablespoons all over outside, including back of turkey, using more on breasts and other places where meat is thickest.
3. Place turkey, breast side down, in a large rimmed dish and cover with plastic wrap (alternatively, place turkey in an oven bag before transferring to dish). Refrigerate 24 to 48 hours, turning turkey breast side up midway through brining.
4. When ready to cook, uncover turkey and pat dry. Place turkey, breast side up, in a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack and let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
5. Place a rack in lower-middle of oven and heat to 325 degrees. Arrange shallots, lemon, garlic, and thyme around rack and pour 2 cups broth into roasting pan. Brush turkey all over with melted butter, including back, and tie legs together with twine, tucking wing tips behind back if desired. Roast, rotating pan occasionally and adding more broth by the cupful as needed to prevent aromatics from burning, until thickest part of thigh registers between 170 and 175 degrees and breast registers between 160 and 165 degrees, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. (Breasts will likely reach 165 degrees before thighs are fully cooked; if so, cover breasts loosely with foil to prevent overcooking.)
6. Remove pan from oven and very carefully tilt turkey to pour juices from cavity into roasting pan. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil; rest 30 minutes to 1 hour before carving. Reserve shallots, lemon, and garlic for garnishing turkey, if desired.
7. Meanwhile, strain turkey drippings into a medium bowl or measuring cup and discard solids. After 5 minutes, skim and discard fat; reserve drippings for making gravy, if desired.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, October - November 2019