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It’s crazy to think that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, so we’re getting our menus ready right now! This year we’re opting to make a Citrus Dry Brine Turkey, which is actually my favorite kind of brine for a turkey. Not only does a dry brine implement a ton of great flavors into the turkey, but it also makes the prep much easier. There’s no need to find a giant, sterile bucket to fill with ice water to submerge your bird into, and it’ll take up much less fridge space too!

We made our citrus dry brine turkey with ingredients we picked up at our local ALDI. It was so nice and convenient to be able to grab everything we needed at just one location, while still maintaining great quality and at such affordable prices! This dry brine is super simple and only requires a handful of ingredients, but it’s one of my favorites. I love the bright notes of citrus along with the savory, autumnal flavor of sage giving the turkey a really nice and juicy finish! Enjoy!

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Citrus Dry Brined Turkey

Serves 6 to 8 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus 2 days inactive time)
Cook Time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

citrus dry brine:
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Baker’s Corner Light Brown Sugar
1/4 cup orange zest (from about 3 oranges)
3 tablespoons lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
2 tablespoons lime zest (from about 2 limes)
1 tablespoon Stone Mill Ground Sage
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 (12-14 lb.) turkey, thawed and pat dry

1. Place all brine ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together until evenly mixed.
2. Rub brine all over turkey, including cavity and place onto a baking sheet, topped with a cooling rack. Refrigerate turkey for 2 days.
3. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
4. Brush brine off turkey, rub butter under breast skin, truss, fold wing tips behind turkey, and transfer to a roasting pan.
5. Cover breast with foil, place turkey in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Lower heat to 350˚F and continue to roast for an additional 2 to 2 1/2 hours (about 12 minutes a pound, for an internal temperature of 160˚F).
6. In the last 40 to 50 minutes of roasting, uncover breast to brown.
7. Remove from oven and allow turkey to rest for 20 to 30 minutes, loosely covered, before carving and serving.

  1. Cathy W Not Specified Not Specified

    Do you cover the turkey with plastic wrap while it’s in the refrigerator for two days?

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      I usually keep mine uncovered (stored on the lowest shelf of my fridge with nothing else (for cross contamination purposes) which helps the skin to dry out and get crispy in the oven, but you can definitely wrap it in plastic too

      • Cathy W Not Specified Not Specified

        I left it uncovered in the fridge. Every time the door opened the citrus smell filled my house. It was wonderful! Now it’s smothered with butter and it’s in the oven. It smells amazing! Can’t wait to eat it. Thanks for sharing your recipe! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃🍁

  2. Elizabeth Not Specified Not Specified

    Hi Teri and Jenny! This turkey recipe is to die for! Gonna make this for thanksgiving this year!

    This is actually my first time to host thanksgiving. I have been struggling to lose weight for the last couple of years, I have reached a milestone and I’m really proud of it!

    This thanksgiving is actually my way of saying thank you to my family and friends who supported me throughout my journey. Thank you so much for sharing this! And I’m so thankful that I found your blog. :)

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