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Citrus-Brined Turkey

Citrus-Brined Turkey
It’s time for the turkey to shine! This aromatic and zesty citrus brine results in the most juicy and tender turkey imaginable.


  • 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds), thawed

  • 2 oranges

  • 2 lemons

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 1 gallon cold water

  • Ice cubes


  1. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey and rinse the entire body with cold water. Pat the skin dry with paper towels.       
  2. Cut one orange and one lemon into wedges and set aside. Cut the other orange and lemon in half and squeeze the juices into a large pot or container.
  3. Add salt, sugar, garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, one gallon of cold water. Stir well until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  4. Place the turkey in the brine, breast side down. Make sure the entire bird is submerged. If necessary, weigh the turkey down with a heavy plate. Add orange and lemon wedges to the brine.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 to 24 hours or up to 48 hours.
  6. Preheat the over to 325 F. Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse the turkey well under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  7. Stuff the turkey with aromatic vegetables, if desired. Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan.
  8. Roast the turkey for 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey reaches 165 F, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes.
  9. Allow turkey to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
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