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, huh?
Champagne 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!!!!
Super Juicy No Brine Roast Turkey
- 1 whole turkey (I used 14lbs turkey)
- 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter softened, divided
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic about 4-5 cloves Note 1
- 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
- 1 bottle (750ml) champagne
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Begin to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator 2-3 days before roasting.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- 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.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 stick of butter, garlic, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.
- 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.
- Fill the turkey with carrots, apples and fresh herbs.
- If desired, tie the legs of the bird with twine. (I prefer this method over whole trussing, because it’s easier.)
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a bowl.
- Using a marinade injector, slowly inject each thigh and breast halves with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
- Pour champagne and chicken stock over the turkey and into the cavity.
- 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.)
- The turkey is cooked, when the deepest part of breast and legs registers 165°F (74°C) on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the turkey from oven, cover with foil and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
- 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.