Herb-Brined Roast Turkey

By Samantha Binkley

I love this time of year because being with family and enjoying all my favorite holiday foods is, well…comforting. Growing up we didn’t eat much turkey. My mom opted for our island tradition of cooking indo-carribean food on Thanksgiving and her Jamaican curried goat is what we enjoyed most.

She still does that today, along with turkey, but it’s not her thing although she makes a mean turkey too! It’s definitely become my thing and I just taught a class on herb-brined turkey breasts and let me tell you-the brining makes a huge difference. Let’s face it, turkey, especially the breast has a reputation for being dry. Brining your turkey is a sure way to ensure the meat has good flavor and stays moist and juicy throughout the cooking process. 

Our turkey breast was the kind that you would want to use as left-overs should there be any! The brine method is simple and the Healthy On You “I’m Still Brining” brine spices infuse a lovely flavor into the turkey. Taste your brine before adding it to the turkey. If it’s way too salty, then go ahead and dilute it with more water. You want a warm salt and sweet balance that isn’t harsh to the palette.

Happy cooking and happy Thanksgiving!

Ingredients

For the Brine

For Roasting the Turkey

Preparation

Make the Brine

  1. Prepare a 3-gallon cooler or a similar sized vessel for the turkey. 

  2. Remove the turkey giblets (It's usually stuffed in the cavity of the bird) and save it for use later in making stock or gravy.

  3. Place the turkey in the cooler.

  4. In a large stock pot, bring one gallon tap water to boil; stir in the salt, sugar and the "I'm Still Brining" spice blend. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

  5. Add the iced water to the warm brine mixture and stir. Your brine should be cold.

  6. Pour the brine mixture over the turkey. Place the cooler in the fridge for 12-24 hours. If space is limited, add ice packs to the cooler to keep it cool.

Roast the Turkey

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and transfer the turkey from the cooler to a roasting pan. Discard the brine.

  2. Rinse under cold water and pat the turkey dry. 

  3. Stuff the cavity with the fresh thyme, lemon halves, and garlic.

  4. Rub the turkey all over with the olive oil and rub the "Seasoning Beneath my Wings spice blend all over.

  5. Roast for 2 hours and 30 minutes or until the thigh meat registers 180°F. The juices should run clear when cut between the thigh and leg.
  6. Remove from oven and cover with foil for 20 minutes before carving.