Brown Sugar-Brined Roast Turkey

We’re gonna let you in on a little secret: It’s not that hard to make a tasty turkey. This brown-sugar brined bird is about to become your new go-to recipe!
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brown sugar brined roast turkey

Recipe by Sarah Karnasiewicz

Start to Finish: 15 hours (includes dry brining)

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup Diamond kosher salt or 3 tbsp. Morton kosher salt

  • 2 tsp. dried rosemary

  • 2 tsp. dried sage

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 turkey (12 to 14 lb.), patted dry, plus neck and giblets reserved

  • 6 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

  • 1 onion, cut into wedges

  • 2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

Preparation

1. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt, rosemary, sage, and pepper for the dry brine. Place the turkey on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub the dry brine all over the turkey, including inside the cavity. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°. Using damp paper towels, brush the dry brine off the turkey. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and smear the butter all over the turkey. Using kitchen twine, loosely tie the legs together.

3. Scatter the onion, carrots, and celery in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place a roasting rack inside the pan. Place the turkey on the rack.

4. Roast the turkey, basting occasionally with the pan drippings, until the skin is deep golden and an instant-read thermometer registers 165° when inserted into the thickest part of the breast and the thigh, about 2 1/2 hours.

5. Tilt the turkey so any juices from the cavity pour into the roasting pan. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Discard the vegetables from the pan. Reserve the drippings in the pan for the gravy.