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Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey recipe Thanksgiving Turkey recipe Thanksgiving Roast Turkey recipe
Hi Guys! We hope you guys are enjoying our very first spread! We’re both so excited about the new series and hope this spread is helpful for those of you in need of ideas for Thanksgiving or just in general!

Today we have our first new recipe, which happens to be a Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey! This brine recipe is pretty simple, but I really love it. It makes your turkey extra juicy and the aromatics (orange peel and herbs) leave a super light, subtle flavor. I love this because it really allows for the flavor of the turkey itself to stand out. If you want a more “herbacious” and citrus tasting bird, feel free to add more citrus peels and herbs to your brine.

I’ve also begun to not truss my turkeys as I feel it just creates more work and the results are pretty much the same. The only thing I do is fold the wing tips back so they don’t burn. If you prefer the legs tied, by all means tie them up! No bigs.

Oh and something I should mention is that everything in this weeks spread is cooked for real and is the actual recipe…except this turkey. I faked this turkey, food stylist-style. I thought I should mention that incase people expect a perfectly browned bird. The brine is great and I stand by this recipe (I’ve made it the last two years!), but the actual results will give you a pretty unevenly browned bird (especially because of the high temp you start with when you begin roasting the bird)…still super delicious. I was just coming off of styling a bunch of turkeys for these target holiday commercials (which are just beginning to air on tv now, yay!)when we shot this spread and I couldn’t resist faking just one more turkey. :) Enjoy! xx, Jenny

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Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey
Serves 14 to 18

1 (16-18 lb.) turkey, fresh or fully thawed
1 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
8 sprigs thyme
6 bay leaves
3 sprigs rosemary
peel of 3 small oranges (most of the pith removed)
1 tablespoon candied ginger, optional
3 star anise, optional
1 cinnamon stick, optional
1/2 gallon apple cider
1/2 gallon vegetable stock
1 gallon ice water

1. The night before thanksgiving, brine your turkey (for 8 to 12 hours).
2. For brine: Pour salt, sugar, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, orange peels, apple cider, and vegetable stock into a large pot and simmer until salt and sugar dissolve, about 15 minutes. Allow mixture to sit until completely cooled. Stir mixture into ice water. If using brining bag, place turkey into bag and pour brine over turkey. Seal and place in refrigerator overnight. If using bucket, place turkey into bucket, breast side down, and pour brine over the bird. Place in refrigerator or a cold, dry place (if it doesn’t fit in the refrigerator) overnight (adding 2 to 3 cups of ice to the mixture every 4 hours if turkey sits out overnight). Remove turkey from brine, pat dry and place onto the rack of a roasting pan. Discard brine.
3. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
4. Stuff cavity with stuffing or aromatics of choice (such as an apples, citrus, onions, herbs, cinnamon stick, etc).
5. Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 350˚F and continue to roast for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the thermometer reads 161˚F in the thickest part of the turkey’s leg.
6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes (loosely tented until foil) before carving and serving.

**You can baste your turkey with melted butter or drippings every other hour if you desire.

**If your breast is beginning to dry out you can cover the breast tightly with foil and remove 30 minutes before the turkey is finished to crisp the skin.


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  1. Jessica Not Specified Not Specified

    Hi SFB, I’m really interested in making this turkey for my family this Thanksgiving. However, I always prefer injecting the liquids instead of using a brine. How should I alter this recipe to accomodate that? I’m assuming less salt for starters? Thanks! :)

  2. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) Not Specified Not Specified

    This is just stunning. What an incredible turkey!

  3. Laura (Tutti Dolci) Not Specified Not Specified

    This turkey should be on the cover of Bon Appétit – stunning!

  4. Heidi Not Specified Not Specified

    That is one beautiful bird! Looks like it smells amazing. xo Heidi

  5. Mimi Not Specified Not Specified

    Brining is the way to go! The challenge has always been to get the dark meat done without the breast getting too dry. I read that brining breaks down some of the muscle fibers in the dark meat so that it cooks more quickly and so the breast and the dark meat are equally done. It has worked for me.

  6. Jade Sheldon-Burnsed Not Specified Not Specified


  7. Jasmine | The Gluten Free Scallywag Not Specified Not Specified

    I’ve never cooked a whole turkey before, with just two of us at home and no proper dining table to have more than 1 or 2 people for dinner it’s a bit much really, HOWEVER, as soon as we move to a larger pad I’m so trying this as it looks amazing!

  8. Tieghan Not Specified Not Specified

    Seriously? Amazing and beautiful!

  9. Suzanne Not Specified Not Specified

    What a beautiful turkey, looks so delicious I want a fork right now. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and to dig into all the fun family favorites and new recipes too.

  10. Ashley Storer Not Specified Not Specified

    I have to cook a turkey for the first time in my life, for all of my new in-laws this Thanksgiving (been married only a couple of years). I was stressing over the turkey but you have solved that concern with this recipe. Wish me luck because I absolutely don’t know what I’m doing with this bird!

  11. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking Not Specified Not Specified

    I saw this baby on the commercials and was soooo excited! I love using a brine. It is seriously the secret to a juicy turkey!

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  16. Erin Not Specified Not Specified

    If I a cooking the turkey in an oven bag, does the cooking time change in any way?

  17. Kay Not Specified Not Specified

    Can you brine a turkey breast? For two people, we don’t need a whole turkey – no matter HOW much I like leftovers! So I’d like to do just a breast and maybe a couple legs…so, can I brine them like a whole turkey?