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thanksgiving turkey

Dry Brine Turkey with Citrus Herb Butter

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dry brine turkey, thanksgiving recipe, thanksgiving turkey, turkey
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 2 hours 30 minutes
Calories: 214 kcal
Author: Bobby Parrish

This Thanksgiving turkey recipe is a family favorite and has been made by many fans over the years who have all said it's the best roasted turkey recipe ever. A brine turkey recipe is the only way to go, and this dry brine turkey recipe is so easy to make and so darn tasty.



For the dry brine:

  • 8-10 sprigs of rosemary finely chopped
  • 6 fresh sage leaves finely chopped
  • small handful of fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • Few cracks fresh pepper
  • Zest of two lemons

For the turkey roasting:

  • 15 pound turkey
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 apple quartered
  • 1 celery stalk roughly chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Extra carrots celery, & onions

For the citrus herb butter:

  • 1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped herbs such as chives, dill, and parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Combine all the brine ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Thoroughly rub the dry brine all over the exterior of the turkey and let sit in the fridge overnight. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or sheet tray as some liquid will run out.
  3. For the citrus herb butter, mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl using a spatula. Place the butter on a layer of plastic wrap, form the butter into a log, and roll it up using the plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees and wash the brine off the turkey in the sink. Make sure you pat the turkey dry with some paper towels. Season the cavity with 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 apple quartered, 1 onion peeled and halved, 1 stalk of celery, and 1 cinnamon stick.
  5. Carefully peel the skin back from the breast meat and rub the citrus butter all over each breast, reaching back deep on the breast. Season the entire outside of the turkey with a good pinch of kosher salt. Place the turkey in a roasting pan on a bed of carrots, celery, and onions and roast for 2-2.5 hours until the internal temperature reaches 155 F degrees in the thigh meat. If you want more color on the turkey, raise the oven temperature to 400 F degrees for the last 45 minutes.
  6. Let the turkey rest for 1-2 hours after it comes out of the oven.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Dry Brine Turkey with Citrus Herb Butter
Amount Per Serving
Calories 214 Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value*
Fat 8.4g13%
Protein 32g64%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.