Adapted from Anne Quatrano's "Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality" (Rizzoli), this spectacular turkey calls for an easy dry brine.

Martha Stewart Living, November 2014


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
1 day


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Rub 2 tablespoons salt evenly inside cavity of turkey, then rub outside with 1/4 cup salt. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; refrigerate 24 hours.

  • Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry with paper towels. Season cavity with salt and pepper. Rub room-temperature butter evenly over outside of turkey; season with salt and pepper. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together with kitchen twine. Transfer to a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Let stand 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in lower third. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste with some of melted butter; lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue roasting, basting with butter every 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast near (but not touching) bone registers 165 degrees, 1 1/2 to 2 hours total, depending on size of bird.

  • Transfer turkey to a serving platter. Reserve pan with drippings for gravy. Let turkey rest at least 45 minutes; carve and serve with gravy and garnishes.


Reviews (1)

53 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 21
  • 2 star values: 18
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: Unrated
I dry brined my turkey before I knew that was the term for it. My mom (& no doubt my gramdmother) did this old world treatment of salting the bird to kill bacteria. I once tried to wet-brine the bird and it was a messy disaster! (I also learned that the bunch of herbs, esp. thyme which has fine stems, will kill your garbage disposal!) I also store & roast the bird upside down to keep the breast juicy.