Greg DuPree
Active Time
45 Mins
Total Time
13 Hours 20 Mins
Serves 16 (serving size: about 6 oz. turkey)

We tried wet-brining, dry-brining, and injection-brining techniques before landing on self-basting as the best method. To keep sodium down, we found that injecting the bird with fat and seasoned liquid gives you the most flavor and juiciest meat.

How to Make It

Step 1

Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard or reserve for another use. Trim excess fat from turkey; pat turkey dry. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place, uncovered, in refrigerator. Combine stock, butter, 6 thyme sprigs, 3 rosemary sprigs, and smashed garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Cook over low, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted and flavors are infused, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. Cover and place in refrigerator. Let turkey and butter mixture chill 8 hours or overnight.

Step 2

Remove turkey from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour; discard any accumulated juices on baking sheet. Preheat oven to 500°F with oven rack in lowest position. Remove butter mixture from refrigerator; reheat over low, stirring occasionally, until melted and warm, about 8 minutes. Strain into a small bowl; discard solids. Add salt and sugar to strained butter mixture, and stir until dissolved. Add zest. Place halved onion, halved lemon, halved garlic head, remaining 6 thyme sprigs, and remaining 3 rosemary sprigs inside body cavity of turkey. Secure legs with kitchen twine. Using a turkey injector, inject butter mixture throughout breast, legs, and thighs.

Step 3

Roast turkey at 500°F until skin is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and cover breast with foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Return turkey to oven immediately, and bake until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 160°F, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Let turkey rest, loosely covered with foil, 15 minutes (internal temperature will rise to 165°F).

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