Recipe: Whole Roasted Turkey

A Thanksgiving bird done the all-American way
ByJasmine BandaliWednesday , 11 November 2015
Recipe: Whole Roasted Turkey
© ITP Images


6kg whole fresh turkey, brined for 24 hours (recipe below)

230g butter

3 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

2 brown onions, cut into large dice

3 carrots, peeled, cut into large dice

4 celery stalks, washed, cut into large dice

4 garlic cloves

20ml olive oil

½ L chicken stock

Salt and black pepper, to taste


8L water

700ml red vinegar

400g sea salt

200g garlic, crushed

70g black peppercorns

10 bay leaves

2 tbsp juniper berries

1 bunch thyme

1 bunch rosemary

1 bunch parsley

10 cloves


1 Begin by brining the turkey. Combine all the ingredients, except the fresh herbs for the brine together in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the fresh herbs and allow to cool.

2 Transfer the brine to a large plastic or glass container (not metal) and immerse the whole turkey in the liquid. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to rest for 24 hours.

3 Preheat the oven to 200C. 

4 Remove the neck, giblets and liver from the turkey. 

5 Wash the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry. 

6 Mix the butter with the chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. 

7 With your hands, carefully separate the breast skin from the meat and spread rosemary butter in between. 

8 Rub the turkey inside and out with salt and black pepper. 

9 Place the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, giblets, neck and liver on the bottom of your roasting pan. 

10 Place the turkey on top of the mixture. Rub turkey with olive oil and transfer to preheated oven. Roast for 45 minutes, then baste every 20 minutes. Add chicken stock as needed so that the vegetables don’t burn. 

11 Roast between 30 and 40 minutes per kilogram until the internal temperature is at least 75C and no more than 85C in the thickest part of the thigh.

Related Articles

Traditional spongy delicacies soaked in sugar syrup
A sublime starter for a Thanksgiving feast
A delicious seafood dish with a Caribbean twist