Citrus Rosemary Turkey Brine

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Turkey Brine is one way to make sure your Thanksgiving Turkey is moist and delicious.  This citrus rosemary turkey brine has been my go to recipe for years and you will love it too!

turkey brine

“Brine” is code for marinade.  It’s like marinading chicken in a ziploc, only you are sticking a turkey in a garbage bag with water, salt, and yumminess.  It comes out OH so moist!

How to Brine a Turkey

  • Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey.
  • Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.
  • Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. (I did it 24 hours in a big white garbage bag, inside of my ice chest)

To make the brine dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with Olive Oil at room temperature. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper.

Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string (mine was already done with wire). I actually doubled this recipe and cooked my 22lb. turkey for 6 hours. I covered the turkey in foil, and let it cook for nearly 5 hours. At the 5 hour mark, I took the foil off, basted a little with its juices, then it cooked the last hour uncovered.
Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Turkey Brine Recipe

Rosemary Citrus Turkey Brine

This turkey brine creates a delicious and moist Thanksgiving Turkey.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey brine
Servings: 1 turkey
Author: Kristen Duke
Ingredients
Turkey Brine
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oranges quartered
  • 2 lemons quartered
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
Turkey Stuffing
  • 1 yellow onion large, cut in 8th
  • 1 orange large, cut in 8th
  • 1 stalk celery cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 carrot large, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
Instructions
  1. To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.)

    Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.

    Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

  2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with Olive Oil at room temperature. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper.

  3. Bake according to weight.