Thanksgiving is here. What, you aren’t prepared? No worries. Here is an easy roast turkey recipe. Don’t fret, all the ingredients will still be available at the grocery store. There are no fancy additions here, just a simple and tasty recipe that will satisfy the whole family and all your guests.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min
Servings: 10 to 12


The Turkey:

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen turkey

The Brine:

1 cup salt
½ cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 ½ teaspoons allspice berries
1 ½ teaspoons candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

The aromatics:

1 sliced red apple
½ sliced onion
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil


2 to 3 days before roasting:
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

The Brine:

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on in the day or the night before you would like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in a 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in a cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on a roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 ½ hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, who is the host of Good Eats on the Food Network and a regular contributor to the Food Network Magazine.

Do you have a great Thanksgiving recipe? Leave a post with a link or tell us your story.


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