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Gourmet Made Deliciously Simple

Super Juicy No Brine Roast Turkey + Video

Juicy flavorful whole turkey roasted in champagne! It as divine as it sounds! #Thanksgiving #ThanksgivingMenu #ThanksgivingRecipes #RoastTurkey #howtoroastawholeturkey #wholeturkey
Instead of brining your turkey, inject the flavored butter or brine into the meat for guaranteed juicy meat. Super simple method for super juicy Thanksgiving turkey, guaranteed! #ThanksgivingRecipes #Thanksgiving #ThanksgivingTurkey #RoastTurkey #howtoroastawholeturkey #wholeturkey
Sharing my secret to super juicy no brine roast turkey recipe that will make you a hero of your Thanksgiving dinner. It involves a bottle of champagne and melted butter! Seriously, unless you want to, you really don't have to brine your bird any more. #Thanksgiving #ThanksgivingMenu #ThanksgivingRecipes #RoastTurkey #howtoroastawholeturkey #wholeturkeySharing my secret to super juicy no brine roast turkey recipe that will make you a hero of your Thanksgiving dinner. It involves a bottle of champagne and melted butter! Seriously, unless you want to, you really don't have to brine your bird any more.#ThanksgivingRecipes #Thanksgiving #ThanksgivingTurkey #RoastTurkey #howtoroastawholeturkey #wholeturkey

Sharing my secret to super juicy no brine roast turkey recipe that will make you a hero of your Thanksgiving dinner. It involves a bottle of champagne and melted butter! Seriously, unless you want to, you really don’t have to brine your bird any more.

{scroll down for video tutorial}

Sharing my secret to super juicy no brine roast turkey recipe that will make you a hero of your Thanksgiving dinner. It involves a bottle of champagne and melted butter! Seriously, unless you want to, you really don't have to brine your bird any more.

You read that right, my friend. Not brining the turkey this year.

Year after year, my husband was in charge of our Thanksgiving turkey. Every year, he brought out a large bucket and made his brining solution to brine the bird. We always enjoyed the juicy turkey.

But I was curious if we could get that succulent turkey without hassle of brining. So this year I started the testing early. You know, typical extreme type A over here. 😉

The real motivation was that I read this brine injecting method in Real Simple magazine (November 2016 issue) a while back, and I really wanted to try it. It said to inject a brining solution, or melted butter into the breast and legs before roasting.

Sounds intriguing, right?

Well, I tried this method, and happy to report it works! I injected melted butter, because I’m using lots of herbs on the outside, but I think, next time herb infused melted butter, or even brown butter would be fantastic!!!

For this method, you’ll need a marinade injector, that you’ll fill with melted butter and inject into the meat before roasting. You don’t want to poke too many times into the bird though, or you may damage the skin. I showed you exactly how to do this in the video below, but here’s a quick visual. (And yes, I have 4 hands that multitask pretty good. Jealous?)

And that’s not the only magic trick I used for this Thanksgiving turkey recipe. This roast turkey is special one, because it’s also roasted in champaign!

I know, fancy, right?

It not only adds an amazing tang to the drippings, but it keeps the bird nice and moist!

I have to give credit to this recipe on Allrecipes.com though. It has so many rave reviews, and rightly so!

Now I’ll have to warn you about that tangy pan dripping. Because the champaign is reduced significantly, meaning the flavors are more concentrated, it has quite a tang. But IF used carefully, your gravy will be to die for!

And I’m not saying this lightly. We’re not talking boring, same old turkey gravy here. (Nothing against tried n’ true gravy, but let’s be honest, it can get a little boring.) We’re talking bold flavorful turkey gravy that’ll go around the table non-stop. I’m telling ya, when we had faux-Thanksgining in September, I had to get up and refill the turkey bowl 4 times!!! It was that good!

And when I say, use the dripping carefully, I mean add it little by little and adjust it to your taste. You can get the complete gravy recipe here.

Now go on and give this recipe a test run before the big day. And please share your feedback. Thank you!!!!

And here’s a quick video tutorial for ya.

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Super Juicy No Brine Roast Turkey

Sharing my secret to super juicy no brine roast turkey recipe that will make you a hero of your Thanksgiving dinner. It involves a bottle of champagne and melted butter! Seriously, unless you want to, you really don’t have to brine your bird any more.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Prep Time:30min

Cook Time:3.5 hours

Total Time:4.5 hours (includes rest time)

Ingredients:

  • 1 turkey (I used 14lbs turkey)
  •  1 ½ sticks (170gr) softened unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic* (about 4-5 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 apples, cored and roughly chopped, optional
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped, optional
  • A bunch of fresh herbs, like rosemary, thyme, marjoram
  • 750ml champagne
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Begin to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator 2-3 days before roasting.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Pull the neck and giblets out of the cavity. Wash and dry the turkey with paper towels.  Carefully run your hand under the breast skin to create a pocket.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 stick of butter, garlic, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.
  5. Smear the butter evenly all over the turkey and under the breast skin. (If the skin is wet, butter won’t stick. So make sure to dry the skin with paper towel well.) Place the turkey breast side up on a V rack in a large roasting pan.
  6. Fill the turkey with carrots, apples and fresh herbs.
  7. If desired, tie the legs of the bird with twine. (I prefer this method over whole trussing, because it’s easier.)
  8. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a bowl.
  9. Using a marinade injector, slowly inject each thigh and breast halves with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
  10. Pour champagne and chicken stock over the turkey and into the cavity.
  11. Roast the turkey until it’s golden brown, about 3.5 hours for 14lbs turkey, basting it every hour using a turkey baster. (Check on turkey after 2 hours. If skin isn’t browning fast enough, increase oven temperature by 50°F/10°C. If the skin is browning too much, cover with a foil.)
  12. The turkey is cooked, when the deepest part of breast and legs registers 165°F (74°C) on an instant-read thermometer.
  13. Remove the turkey from oven, cover with foil and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
  14. Reserve pan juices to make gravy. But add the drippings into the gravy little at a time, as the champagne is reduced and flavors are concentrated. So adjust it to your taste.

* I like to grate the garlic on microplane zester over pressing it, because it yields super fine puree that’s easy to smear.

For complete turkey guide, read this TURKEY 101 post, where I cover everything you need to know from brining to carving.

Don’t have Thanksgiving Menu yet? Check out my 2017 Thanksgiving Menu for inspiration. Plus, it includes complete schedule for prep and checklist for stress-free hosting!

All images and text ©Shinee D. for Sweet & Savory

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All photographs and content on Sweet & Savory by Shinee is copyright protected, unless otherwise noted. Please do not use any of my photos without my authorization. If you would like to share my recipe, you may re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the full directions. Thank you for your cooperation!

Thanksgiving Turkey 101: Everything you need to know about cooking a turkey from brining to carving!

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140 comments

  1. Late post, I used this recipe for our Thanksgiving Turkey. I have got to to say my turkey was awesome and amazing. I had so many compliments about the turkey. How it was so moist and tasty. I will definitely keep using this recipe. Thank you, Shinee for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  2. This will be my 2nd year using this recipe! Last year I used it on Thanksgiving and it was AMAZING and than again for Christmas and everyone loved it including the gravy. I didnt host Thanksgiving this year but I am doing Christmas and I’m so excited to make my 3rd turkey using this recipe! Thank you so much.

  3. Going to cook this is an XL power pressure cooker 10Lb turkey how much chicken stock and champ should I use?

  4. Hi Shinee. I will be trying your recipes today for the first time! Super excited! So your recipe calls for 750ml of champagne and 2 cups of chicken broth, but about for a 22.5 lb bird? Would the liquids be the same amount? 

  5. Love this recipe. Used it for my first ever turkey and everyone was impressed! Doing it again this year and I’m excited.

    Rating: 5
  6. This recipe seems fairly simple and I’d like to use this recipe for a juicy turkey. I didn’t see anywhere in the directions if you cover the turkey or roast is uncovered. Can you tell me what’ll work best? 

    • Hi, Irene. No, I don’t cover the turkey while roasting. But if you notice that the breast is getting darker than you’d like, you can place a sheet of foil loosely over the darkened area.

  7. I made this turkey last year and it was amazing! I still had a little bit of ice on my turkey, so the butter would not stick. It still turned out, but I was determined to not make the same mistake this year. This time, I made sure my turkey was completely defrosted and took it out first thing in the morning to dry it off. I patted it with paper towels and left some between the wings and legs to soak up the extra moisture and then left it out for four hours. As soon as I tried to put the herb butter on, it wouldn’t stick again! Any tips on how to make sure the skin stays completely dry so I can spread the butter evenly? 

    Rating: 4
    • Hi, Kelsie! Thank you so much for trying my recipe!! I’m so glad you liked to try it again. As for your issue with butter, how soft was your herb butter? It helps if your butter is super soft.

  8. Hi there! I am so excited to try this recipe just based off the reviews that I read! But quick question…I know that the alcohol all cooks out but we are strictly a no alcohol household so I don’t want to buy it. Would you happen to have a suggestion for a replacement for the champaign? Thank you so much 🙂

    • Hi, Rainy. I haven’t tried this, but I believe someone mentioned that they tried this recipe with apple cider. I’d make sure it’s unsweetened apple cider, if you go that way.

  9. What type of apples do you suggest?

  10. Now I’m curious about the gravy recipe, do you have it anywhere?

  11. Does pouring the champagne and stock over the turkey wash off the butter and herbs?

  12. You should not rinse raw poultry under running water. It spreads potentially harmful bacteria across your sink and counter top. Also, it does nothing to “clean” the chicken. Just pat it dry.

  13. you say the drippings leave a more concentrated flavor, does it cook out the alcohol in the champange?