Caren’s Famous Brine-Cured Roast Turkey Recipe

Caren’s Famous Brine-Cured Roast Turkey Recipe

By: Fritz and Caren Hatton

Caren and Fritz Brining Turkey

They say that “nothing good ever comes easy” and this brine is no exception. It makes the most amazing gravy and keeps the turkey moist—the butter for basting doesn’t hurt. This complex brine creates a flavor that is especially good with Bordeaux varietals. One of our favorite pairings is Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyards.

I hope this recipe will become a part of your traditions as it has with ours.

For the Brine:

  • 1 1/4 cupskosher salt
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups honey
  • 6 sprigs each fresh parsley, dill, thyme, tarragon, and sage2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole bay leaves
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp. juniper berries
  • 2 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 lemons cut in half
  • 1 tbsp. whole allspice
  • 2 gallons boiling water


  1. Combine brine ingredients in a large container, pouring boiling water last.  Cool to room temperature.  Add turkey, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse off under cold water.
  3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  4. Cover entire turkey w/ cheesecloth and place in a large roasting pan.  Using a brush, saturate the cloth with the butter.  Place in the oven and roast for 3-4 hours, basting the cheesecloth with butter every ½ hour.  The turkey is done when the thigh-joint temp reaches 150 degrees F.
  5. Remove turkey from the oven and let it rest for 30 min. Carefully remove the cheesecloth and transfer turkey to a platter.

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