Roasted Dry-Brined Turkey

Dry-brining a turkey ensures a moist and seasoned bird that also takes up less space in the refrigerator than a wet-brined one. Don't dry-brine a kosher (previously salted) turkey; the result will be too salty.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Roasted Dry-Brined Turkey

Photography: Marcus Nilsson

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2013

Ingredients

  • 1 14-pound turkey, neck and heart reserved for Turkey Stock
  • 1/3 cup coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 cup water
  • Turkey Gravy (optional)

Directions

  1. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Combine salt and pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons salt mixture evenly inside body cavity, then rub remainder all over outside of bird. Tuck wings under turkey and wrap in plastic wrap, or place in an oven bag, pressing out all air. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet; refrigerate 24 hours.

  2. Remove plastic from turkey; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in lower third. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen twine. Pour water into pan and roast turkey 1 hour.

  3. Remove turkey from oven and check temperature. A thermometer inserted in breast should read 165 degrees. If it doesn't, continue to roast turkey up to 30 minutes more, checking temperature every 10 minutes. Transfer to a carving board and let rest at least 45 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving. If making turkey gravy, use only 2 tablespoons of defatted drippings (they're much saltier from a brined bird).

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