Timeless Holiday Turkey

Timeless Holiday Turkey


Roasting a turkey is nothing to be afraid of! It’s really not as time consuming or difficult as people make it out to be.

The key to a juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside turkey is simple… Brine. A simple brine is basically a salt bath for your turkey that allows the turkey to soak up and retain water. Best of all, brining actually reduces the time it takes to cook the bird! Try out this version to infuse your turkey with some lovely holiday flavours.


  • 1 frozen young turkey, approx. 15 lbs.
  • 1 lb. butter

For brine:

  • 1 cup coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable or poultry stock
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp allspice berries, crushed
  • 1 gallon water
  • 4 bags of ice

For Aromatics:

  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sprigs thyme


2-3 days before your dinner:

  1. Combine all brine ingredients (except ice) in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and refrigerate until cold.
  4. Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
  5. Place brine and ice into a large cooler, bucket or double bagged garbage bag.
  6. Add turkey to the brine, breast side down.
  7. Leave in cool place to thaw until the morning of your dinner.
  8. Check on the ice periodically, adding more as necessary.

Day of your dinner:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Remove turkey from brine.
  3. Rinse inside and out with cold water.
  4. Place turkey on rack inside a roasting pan.
  5. Pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Microwave apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and water on high for 5 minutes.
  7. Add rosemary, thyme and aromatic mixture to turkey’s cavity.
  8. Liberally rub butter over entire exterior of turkey.
  9. Separate skin from breast and butter between.
  10. Tuck wings underneath the bird.
  11. Roast turkey uncovered 30 minutes.
  12. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  13. Roast for approximately 2 hours, or until the thickest part of the breast reaches 161 degrees F.
  14. Remove from oven and let turkey rest, loosely covered with foil for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Pro Tip: Using a probe thermometer will make your life so much easier! Just insert the probe into the thickest part of the breast, place the screen on your counter and close the oven. You can set the timer temperature so you’ll know exactly when your turkey is ready.

Pro Tip: Save the turkey carcass to make homemade poultry broth!


Justine Martin is the owner of For Heaven’s Bake Sudbury, a local bakeshop specializing in custom cakes and cupcakes. She’s responsible for some of Sudbury’s very own Cake Boss-esque masterpieces. When she’s not in the bakery, you’ll probably find her with some girlfriends, a bottle of wine (or two) and a charcuterie board.

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