Brined Dijon Turkey with Pan Gravy

brined dijon turkey with pan gravy
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 2 quarts ice water
  • 1 fresh or thawed frozen turkey (about 12 lbs), neck and giblets saved for another use; bird cut into a whole breast, leg quarters and wing pieces
  • 1 large onion, with skin, quartered
  • 1 large rib celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups low-sodium turkey or chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 teaspoons whole-grain dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • quart salt and pepper


1. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and coarse salt. Add 1 qt. hot water; whisk to dissolve. Stir in the ice water. Submerge the turkey breast and leg quarters in the brine. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, add the turkey neck and wings, the onion, celery, 1 1/2 qt. cold water and the broth to a stock pot; boil. Lower the heat; partially cover and simmer until reduced to 1 qt., 2 hours. Let cool, then strain; skim and discard the fat.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Remove the turkey parts from the brine, rinse well and pat dry; transfer to the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, mash together the butter and mustard. Using a butter knife, spread evenly on the turkey parts. Roast the turkey until an instant-read thermometer reaches 155° when inserted into all of the pieces, about 50 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil.

4. Pour the juices from the baking sheet into a liquid measuring cup. Let sit, then skim off and discard any fat. Add 1 cup of the homemade stock to the pan, scraping up any browned bits. In a heavy, medium saucepan, whisk the flour and another 1/2 cup stock. Whisk in the juices. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2 1/2 cups stock, 1/2 at a time, letting the mixture thicken between additions. Simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

5. Slice each turkey breast half from the bone. Thinly slice the breast meat crosswise. Slice the dark meat from the thigh and leg bones. Transfer the meat to a casserole dish. Pour the gravy on top.

Make ahead: Layer the white and dark meat in a casserole dish. Spoon the gravy on top, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven at 350° until the gravy is hot, about 45 minutes.