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!

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

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70 comments

  1. Made it and everyone loved it…one of the best recipes thank you 😊

    Rating: 5
  2. My first turkey. So glad I found this recipe. I did substitute the champagne for apple cider and it still came out amazing! Thank you so much for posting this.

    Rating: 5
  3. ‘Tis recipe is amazing. The best turkey I ever made. I did use fresh herbs in the butter since I had them. Will be making this again. 

    Rating: 5
  4. Wow! We loved the recipe! the Turkey was delicious and gravy as well 👌👌Thank you for sharing.

    Rating: 5
  5. This turkey was beyond expectations! It was so delicious, tender, moist, and had amazing flavor, my entire family (25 people) loved it! Thank you so much! The matching gravy was unbelievably delicious as well!! i don’t really look forward to cooking for a crowd but now i can’t wait to cook this again for my friends next week!!! ❤️❤️ 

    Rating: 5
    • Yay for the 2nd round of Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving!!) Thanks so much for your rating, Brittany! I’m so glad you tried and loved this turkey recipe. 🙂

  6. I made this yesterday with a few modifications and it was amazing. We didn’t have a marinade injector so I went without and it was still very flavorful and not dry at all. I forgot the lemon and used fresh Sage, Parsley, and Thyme since it was available in the garden still. We do a new recipe each year just to keep me on my toes but I may save this and sneak it back into the rotation.

    Rating: 5
    • Pernille, fresh herbs sounds amazing! I’m jealous that you still have them in your garden! 🙂 I’m so glad you loved the turkey, and thank you for your feedback!

  7. I made this today and I just want to say this is THE BEST turkey I have ever had. Our guests said that it was fantastic and gave many compliments. It was so juicy, tender, and full of flavor that I barely needed to season the gravy when I made it. Definitely is being saved for next year. Thank you so much for this recipe!! 

    Rating: 5
  8. Most Delicious turkey ever, and the gravy was Amazing!!

    Rating: 5
  9. Do you use convection roast for the oven or bake for the 350 degree? Did you use any tinfoil before it was comlleted cooked to let rest?

    • Hi, Rob. I roasted the turkey at 350°F traditional oven (I don’t have convection settings). And yes, I used tinfoil during roasting when the skin was browning too much. And I cover the cooked turkey with foil while it rests and before carving. Hope this helps. Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. How much garlic did you use? Video shows you used garlic but I don’t see it on the ingredient list. Thanks 

    • Hi, Jorge! Sorry about that. You’ll need about 1 tablespoon of grated garlic (4-5 cloves). And thank you so much for pointing it out. I updated the recipe accordingly.

  11. I can’t seem to find the gravy receipe, the link posted above takes me to a chocolate mousse cake.

  12. Should we let it sit with butter on top or can I pop it in the oven right away?

  13. Any thoughts on using a dry white wine in place of the champagne?

  14. Hi Shinee, this recipe looks like something I want to try. Do you think I can follow this recipe using an electric roasting pan? And will be just as fantastic as yours?

    • Hi, Kim. Honestly, I have no experience with electric roasters and I really don’t know how this recipe will turn out when cooked in a roster. Sorry, I’m not much help.

  15. I was curious about the amount of salt, it doesn’t seem like a lot for a big turkey.  

    • So it’s my understanding that most frozen turkey already comes in sodium solution, and doesn’t require much additional salt. If you’re using fresh turkey, or not brining your bird, feel free to add another tablespoon of salt. But with butterball turkey, I didn’t need anymore salt. Hope this helps. Happy Thanksgiving, Jackie!

  16. Hello! I seen in one of the comments that lemin juice should be added to the butter for injector. I must have missed where u say how much lemon juice to add for that. Thanks!

  17. Hi! Could i still use this recipe if i buy a butterball turkey? Or would that be too much salt and butter?

    • I used Butterball frozen turkey, and it wasn’t salty at all. And butter amount was perfect, because butterball doesn’t use butter in their brine. Hope you’ll enjoy, Brittany!

      • Great thank you! 🙂 I’ll let you know how it turns out along with the gravy recipe 😍

        • This turkey was beyond expectations! It was so delicious, moist, amazing flavor, my entire family (25 people) loved it! Thank you so much! The matching gravy was unbelievably delicious as well!! i don’t really look forward to cooking for a crowd but now i can’t wait to cook this again for my friends next week!!! ❤️❤️

        • Yay, Brittany! I’m beyond happy to hear everyone loved the turkey! Thanks so much for coming back and sharing your feedback!

  18. Okay I’m wanting to do this  recipe for  thanksgiving I’m using a 19 pound turkey  what would be the measurements for the herbs ?

  19. Very Good video,thank you ,gonna make this for Thanksgiving😋😋😋

  20. Hi, I might be missing something lol Do I mix the lemon juice as part of the marinade for injecting the Turkey? Thanks

  21. I’m assuming the alcohol content burns off.  I’ve got little people eating at my house.

  22. Hello,

    This does sound and looks truly delicious. Was curious if the actual Turkey tastes tangy?  Also with  the chicken broth it sounds like a lot of liquid in the turkey pan. Is that more like poaching or steaming? I am making this regardless. Just curious if I should make a plain one for the grandchildren.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi, Cindy. No, turkey meat doesn’t taste tangy at all. And I don’t feel like it’s steaming the bird because we’re not covering the whole thing with a foil. Hope you’ll enjoy, and please share your thoughts if you give it a try.

  23. I normally make 2-3 large turkey breasts in the crock pot for Thanksgiving. I love the idea of using champagne. Do you think it would turn out well in the crock pot (ingredient portion adjusted for size of turkey, of course).

    • Hi, Sally. I don’t think it’ll work that great in a crockpot, because I love how champagne concentrates in the oven. And I don’t think the liquids will concentrate in a slow cooker. But then again, I’ve never cooked turkey in slow cooker, so I’m clueless.

  24. I have a family member with a severe dairy allergy and use olive oil. Do you think that would work?

  25. I have a question about how you made your gravy….You say add the pan drippings a little at a time because it may have an intense flavour…but aren’t we making the gravy with the pan drippings? What else are you you using to make the gravy? (in my family the gravy is almost as important as the turkey itself!! Lol) Thanks for your time. 🙂

    • Hi, Sio. I find that pan drippings alone isn’t enough to make plenty of gravy, so I use additional plain chicken or turkey stock. I got about 10oz of pan drippings with this recipe. I added 5oz right away, then added more to taste. And by the way, I just posted the gravy recipe on the blog. Here’s the link to the recipe and video.
      And yay, for gravy loving family!! Ours is the same. 🙂

  26. I’d like to try this recipe, but I have a family member with a rosemary allergy. Can I omit it or substitute another herb for the rosemary?

  27. Hello Shinee! This looks TREMENDOUSLY GOOD! I had a question for you: my family loves big turkey’s…I usually grab a 20-24 pound bird and always go for Butterball. If I do that again this year, would I omit the butter injection step as Butterball does this already? And, if I do a 20-24 pound bird, would I increase any of the ingredients?

    Thank you so much! I’m so excited to try this!

    • Hi, Alyssum! Thank you!! I didn’t know Butterball already injects butter into the turkey. I did use butterball turkey, and I say more butter better. 🙂 And yes, I’d suggest increase herb butter by 1.5 times for 20-24lb bird, but no need to increase champagne or anything else. Hope you’ll enjoy, and let me know if you give this a try.

  28. What size turkey did you use?

  29. Turkey has always intimidated me. This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try!

    • Yeah, I know that feeling all too well. It’s not as difficult though, Sumner. Hope you give it a try, and let me know how it turns out, if you do. Thanks!

  30. What kind of champagne did you use? I’m not a connoisseurs when it comes to that😂  

  31. What an amazing recipe! I will have to try making it soon!

    Rating: 5

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