Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey by Ree Drummond

READY IN: 5hrs 10mins




  • Combine the water, apple juice, salt, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried rosemary, and orange peel in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat immediately, cover, and allow mixture to come to room temperature.
  • Cool mixture in the fridge until you're ready.
  • To brine the turkey, remove the turkey from wrapper, remove interior bags (set aside and refrigerate), and rinse turkey thoroughly under cool water.
  • Place the turkey into a plastic brining bag or a very large pot.
  • Pour the cooled brine mixture over the top, adding extra cold water if you need more to completely cover the turkey.
  • Seal the bag or cover the pot and allow the turkey to brine in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours before roasting.
  • Before roasting, remove the turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Then soak in a sink full of fresh water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Pat dry.
  • Discard brine. (This soaking process will decrease the likelihood of too salty gravy).
  • Preheat the oven 275 degrees F.
  • Truss the bird and place it breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey tightly with heavy duty foil. Make sure it's entirely covered (cover over the bottom edges of the pan).
  • Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes per pound (a 20-pound turkey will roast for about 3 1/2 hours).
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees F.
  • Remove the aluminum foil and set aside.
  • Mix the softened butter with the rosemary and orange peel and rub all over the skin of the turkey, covering every single inch of the skin.
  • Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint.
  • Place the turkey, uncovered, back into the oven.
  • Continue roasting the turkey, basting with butter every 30 minutes, until the thermometer registers 170 degrees F and until the juices are no longer pink.
  • Remove from the oven and cover with foil until you are ready to carve and serve. Reserve pan juices to make gravy.