recipes from the escobosa kitchens

Roasted Turkey

Dry brined and delicious.

Source: New York Times

Roasted Turkey

Ingredients for about 10 to people

  • 1 turkey (10-12 pounds)
  • 1 lemon, zested and quartered
  • 1 bunch thyme, fresh
  • 1 bunch sage, fresh
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 12 ounces hard apple cider
  • 6 ounces dry white wine
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Bourbon Thyme Butter
  • 2 sticks butter, salted
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons thyme, chopped


  1. Remove any giblets from the cavity and reserve for stock or gravy. Pat turkey and turkey neck dry with paper towel; rub turkey all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt per pound of turkey, the pepper and the lemon zest, including the neck. Transfer to a 2-gallon (or larger) resealable plastic bag. Tuck herbs and 6 garlic cloves inside bag. Seal and refrigerate on a small rimmed baking sheet (or wrapped in another bag) for at least 1 day and up to 3 days, turning the bird over every day (or after 12 hours if dry brining for only 1 day).
  2. Remove turkey from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey, uncovered, back on the baking sheet. Return to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours to dry out the skin (this helps crisp it).
  3. Make the Bourbon Thyme butter by incorporating the bourbon and chopped thyme into slightly softened butter then wrapping it in wax paper and storing it back in refrigerator to harden somewhat.
  4. One hour before you are ready to cook the turkey, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
  5. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove Bourbon Thyme butter from the fridge and let it soften.
  6. Insert pats of herbed butter under the skin of the bird, especially between the skin and meat on the breast. Rub entire outside of the bird with remaining butter.
  7. In the bottom of a large roasting pan, add the cider and enough wine to fill the pan to a 1/4-inch depth. Add half the onions, the shallots and the bay leaves. Stuff remaining onions and the lemon quarters into the turkey cavity.
  8. Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack set inside the roasting pan. Transfer pan to oven and roast 30 minutes. Cover breast with aluminum foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh reaches 165 degrees, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours more. Transfer turkey to a cutting board to rest for 30 minutes before carving.