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A platter of citrus and herb roasted turkey garnished with grapes and herbs with carving utensils.

Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey

Teri & Jenny
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Brine Time 12 hrs
Servings 18


  • 1 (16-18 lb.) turkey, fresh or fully thawed


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 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
  • ½ gallon apple cider
  • ½ gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 gallon ice water


  • The night before thanksgiving, brine your turkey (for 8 to 12 hours).
  • 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.
  • Preheat oven to 450˚F.
  • Stuff cavity with stuffing or aromatics of choice (such as an apples, citrus, onions, herbs, cinnamon stick, etc).
  • Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 350˚F and continue to roast for 3 to 3 ½ hours or until the thermometer reads 161˚F in the thickest part of the turkey’s leg.
  • 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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