Perfect roast turkey

    17 hours

    A perfectly seasoned and juicy turkey. My friend from France taught me to cook turkey like this, but she never measures anything so use your own judgment for vegetable amounts, etc. I usually err on the side of 'more is better'!

    1457 people made this

    Serves: 24 

    • 1 large whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
    • 500g coarse salt
    • 125g butter, melted
    • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
    • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 4 stalks celery, chopped
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 250ml dry white wine

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:4hr  ›  Extra time:12hr30min  ›  Ready in:17hr 

    1. Rub the turkey inside and out with the coarse salt. Place the bird in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water. Place in the fridge, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight.
    2. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture.
    3. Brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting tin. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting tin, and cover with the white wine.
    4. Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 74 degrees C. Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.

    Turkey tips

    For fail-safe tips and turkey cooking times see our guide to cooking turkey. Also don't forget our turkey gravy recipes.

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    Reviews in English (1266)


    Made this for an early Christmas dinner we had with some relatives. The wine is a great idea - it keeps the turkey really moist. Made my own stuffing, too. I'll submit the recipe soon.  -  08 Dec 2008


    tried this at christmas. what a success, no turkey leftovers! got to do this again at easter  -  10 Apr 2009


    Just a quick tip on how to brine a turkey, especially when your fridge is full of other holiday goodies! Ive done it this way for a few years now, and it works great. Instead of soaking in the stock pot overnight, I put the turkey & brine mixture in a oven bag, squeeze out the air, and tie it shut. Put the bagged turkey in a cooler with ice overnight.  -  04 Nov 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)