A recipe for your feast to revolve around: Brined and Roasted Turkey with Simple Pan Gravy

Expect this to be one of the better roasts you’ve ever served!

Expect this to be one of the better roasts you’ve ever served

This turkey promises to be the best one you’ve ever served, and don’t let the brine intimidate you. Prepare it and your bird the night before you plan to serve it, and the recipe is mostly hands off until it’s time to turn those pan juices into a quick but sensational gravy.

Brined and Roasted Turkey with Simple Pan Gravy


  • 5-7 kg turkey, unstuffed and thawed (if frozen)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup butter


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups medium brown sugar
  • ¼ cup mixed peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 lemon, quartered


  • ½ cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • ½ Spanish onion, quartered
  • 1 apple, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 sprigs rosemary

Pan Gravy:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour


To prepare the brine, combine water, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Once dissolved, turn off the heat and add the peppercorns, rosemary and thyme. Set aside and allow the brine to cool completely.

Meanwhile, place the turkey in a clean brining bag or a large pot deep enough to ensure your turkey is fully submerged. Add the cooled brine solution to the bag or pot pouring it over the turkey. Pour cold water over the turkey until the it is completely covered and add the lemon. Seal the bag or cover the pot with saran wrap and transfer to the fridge for 6-24 hours. If you do not have space in your fridge you can place the turkey and brine in a portable cooler and fill any empty space with ice.

To prepare the rub, combine butter, sage, rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Place an elevated roasting tray in the center of a deep roasting pan. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry. Place the dried turkey onto the roasting and stuff the turkey with the Spanish onion, apple, lemon and rosemary. Rub the seasoned butter into the skin of the turkey thoroughly.

Pour 2 cups of chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting tray and loosely tent the turkey with aluminum foil. Transfer the entire roasting tray to the oven and cook for approximately 2 ½ hours, basting every 45-60 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil tent and baste the turkey with butter before returning to the oven for a final hour of cooking. To ensure the turkey is cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey thigh and breast — take two readings and ensure the internal temperature is 170F degrees.

If the internal temperature is correct, remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a large cutting board and allow it to rest under a clean dish towel while you prepare your gravy.

To prepare your gravy, remove the roasting tray from the roasting pan and transfer the roasting pan and turkey drippings to your stove top — arrange the pan so that it covers two burners. Remove any large bits or pieces of meat that have fallen into the turkey drippings. Heat the drippings and use a whisk to scrape the bottom of the roasting pan and loosen any roasted bits. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and add the flour to the pan. Use the whisk to move the flour around the pan for 1-2 minutes until it begins to brown but not burn; you want to whisk out as many lumps as possible at this point.

Slowly pour the chicken stock into the roasting pan and whisk everything together. Continue whisking until the gravy has thickened. If the gravy seems to thick add a bit of water at a time to loosen. Adding more chicken stock may result in an overly salty gravy.

For cooking times based on weight, please reference the Canadian guidelines:

Servings: Makes 6-8 servings


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.