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Platter of carved juicy roast turkey decorated with fruits and greens.
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5 from 4 votes

Perfect roasted and moist Turkey dry brine

This roasted turkey is dry brined then slathered in butter inside out for a juicy and moist flesh. Browned perfectly this is an easy turkey recipe for any holiday.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Halal
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 570kcal
Author: Amira


  • 1 10-12 lb Whole Turkey, natural not previously brined.

For the dry brine:

  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt.
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano.
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon rosemary.

Butter mixture:

  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, room temperature.
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil divided.
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

For the cavity:

  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped.
  • 2 celery ribs diced.
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper.
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Optional: Cut the giblets into small pieces and add to the cavity.


  • Wash turkey thoroughly. Pat dry the bird all over and set aside.
  • Mix the brine ingredients together, sprinkle the turkey with the brine and rub well.
  • Place the turkey on a tray breast side down and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.
  • After 24 hours, turn the turkey to the other side so the breast side is up. Leave it in the brine for another day, uncover in in the last 8 hours but keep it in the fridge.
  • Take the turkey out before baking and leave it to come to room temperature for a couple of hours.

Prepare the filling:

  • In a bowl combine chopped onion, celery, pepper, salt and diced giblets if using, mix well.

Prepare the butter mixture:

  • In a small bowl, mix softened butter, oil, parsley and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 500F adjusting the rack in the lower part of your oven.
  • Place turkey on the roasting pan.
  • Fold a square sheet of foil to form a triangle and rub with some oil from one side. Place that triangle over the turkey breast to shape it like the breast. Remove foil and set it aside keeping its shape.
  • Carefully, separate skin from the turkey breast using your fingers gently from front and back paying close attention not to tear the skin.
  • Stuff 3/4 butter mixture under the skin then massage the skin from above to spread the butter evenly.
  • Stuff cavity with the onion stuffing, tie turkey legs with kitchen twin. Tuck the wings too.
  • Rub the remaining butter on the outside.
  • Place turkey in oven and roast for 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove turkey from oven, reduce heat to 350F.
  • Cover the turkey with the foil that we've prepared earlier.
  • Return to oven and let it cook for another 2 hours or until a meat thermometer placed in between the breast and the thigh reads 165F.
  • Remove from oven and let it set for 30 minutes before carving.


  • This recipe for an all natural turkey which has not been brined or injected by any   solution before. For store bought turkey like Butterball skip the brining.
  • Turkey needs to be thawed in the fridge before proceeding with the recipe. According to the USDA you will need roughly 6 hours per 1 pound. This means an 8lb turkey will take 2 days and a 12 lb turkey will take 3 days and so on.
  • Another way to thaw a turkey, especially if you are tight on fridge space is called the cold water method. Make sure your turkey is placed in a bag with no cuts or holes, fill your sink with cold tap water and submerge your turkey in there changing the water every 30 minutes. For this method allow 30 minutes/ lb. This means that an 8lb turkey will take 4 hours and a 12lb turkey will take 6 hours to thaw. Note that a turkey thawed this way needs to be cooked right away.
  • You can dry brine partially frozen turkey if you are in a hurry. Although I prefer thawed turkey but at least make sure the skin has defrosted.
  • I've used kosher salt to dry brine my turkey. Kosher salt is coarser than table salt. If you are using regular table salt then use half the amount.
  • This is my favorite herbs and spices to use but you are welcome to use your favorite herbs and spice combination. Thyme and sage works great as well. You might also want to add a little amount of brown sugar to the brine mixture for a little sweetness.
  • I like the onion stuffing a bit spicy so I put 1 teaspoon, go easy on black pepper if you do not like spicy food.


Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 234mg | Sodium: 1849mg | Potassium: 615mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1013IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg