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White Wine Ginger Thyme Brined Roast Turkey

White Wine Ginger Thyme Brined Roast Turkey

Wet brining a turkey is a sure way to have the most moist, succulent bird possible. The brine and the glaze in this recipe take flavor cues from France and Asia, incorporating some signature tastes for a sumptuous end result.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 13 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 559kcal
Author Toni Dash


Ingredients for the Brine:

  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 6 Star Anise
  • 1 4-inch piece fresh Ginger Root , rough chopped (peeling not necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Thyme
  • 18 White Peppercorns
  • 1 cup Dry Chardonnay wine
  • Supplies: 5 gallon food-grade plastic pail with lid (available at hardware stores)

Ingredients for the turkey cavity:

  • 12 1/2 pound Turkey
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion , cut into large pieces
  • 1 Carrot , cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 stalks Celery , cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter , softened

Ingredients for the Glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 3 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Ginger Root , finely minced
  • ½ cup Dry White Wine


Instructions for Brining:

  • In a large pot over low heat, combine the salt, sugar and 8 cups water. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  • Add the star anise, ginger, and thyme; allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • While the brine cools, rinse the turkey inside and out.
  • Add the brine to the food-grade pail, along with the 1 cup dry white wine and the turkey. Fill with cold water to cover. Seal with the lid and chill for 10-12 hours (but not longer than 12 hours); it works well to make the brine the night before cooking the turkey and allowing it to brine overnight.

Instructions for Roasting and Glazing the Turkey:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a V-rack with two layers of heavy foil, dull side facing the turkey, and place into a roasting pan. Poke holes in the foil to allow the turkey juices to run into the pan.
  • Place the turkey breast side down on the prepared rack. Add the onion, carrot and celery pieces into the turkey cavity. Rub the entire turkey with the softened unsalted butter.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the roasting pan and place in the heated oven for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, flip the turkey onto its back being careful not to puncture the skin. Bake until the turkey thigh registers 170 degrees on a meat thermometer.
  • While the turkey cooks, prepare the glaze. Combine the thyme, honey, ginger and dry white wine in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the honey dissolves. Remove from heat.
  • When the turkey thigh registers 170 degrees on a meat thermometer brush the top of the turkey with the glaze and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until the thigh reaches 175 degrees . Note: glazes with sweeteners in them tend to blacken, so watch the turkey and remove if it becomes too dark (it will still taste great; this is for appearance sake).
  • Remove the turkey and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.


Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 241mg | Sodium: 9820mg | Potassium: 844mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1075IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3.7mg