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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

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By The Sybarite Team on 17th November 2022

Impress your friends & family by learning how to cook the most delicious apple-brined turkey - just in time for your thanksgiving/friendsgiving dinner!

Cooking a turkey is most certainly a daunting task; naturally inclined to be dry, huge in size and generally quite bland in taste - no one wants to be responsible for roasting the big 'old bird. But fear not, we've created the ultimate thanksgiving turkey recipe that will undoubtedly impress your toughest of critics. So sharpen your knives and get your apron on, because this is about to be a thanksgiving you won't forget!

Apple-Brined Turkey with a Mixed Herb Butter

Preparation time: 24 hours

Cooking time: 3 hours 45 mins

Serves: 8


  • 4-5kg whole turkey

For the brine:

  • 3 cups apple juice

  • 1 green apple that has been quartered

  • ½ large orange

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds

  • 4 sprigs of tarragon

  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme

  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic

  • 2 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning

  • 8 sprigs of sage

  • 1 tablespoon of whole allspice berries

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns

  • 2 cups of light brown sugar

  • 1 cup of kosher salt

For the herb butter:

  • 1kg of unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme (chopped)

  • 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley (chopped)

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh chives (chopped)

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh sage (chopped)

  • A pinch of salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


Brine the Turkey

  1. In a large pot, combine all of the ingredients except the turkey and add 4 cups of room-temp water. Bring the mix to a boil, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove the mix from the heat and then add 12 cups of cold water. Let the mix stand until cool, and once cooled, add the turkey and place it in the fridge overnight for 12 hours.

  2. Place a baking sheet down on the surface and put a rack over it. Once the turkey has marinated for the appropriate time, remove it from the brine and transfer it to the prepared rack. Make sure to pat the turkey dry with paper towels and then place in the fridge uncovered for another 12 hours.

Make the Herb Butter

  1. An hour before you're due to take the turkey out, in a mixing bowl blend all of the ingredients listed except for the salt and pepper to make the butter.

  1. Place a clean rack in a large roasting pan and place the turkey from the fridge onto the rack. Gently separate the turkey skin from the breast meat and rub half of the herb butter over the breast meat under the skin. Spread the remaining herb butter all over the skin of the breast and legs and then season with salt and pepper. Set the turkey in the prepared roasting pan and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200° celsius. Roast the turkey for about 2 hours, basting every 15 minutes with the melted herb butter and tenting the breast with foil after 30 minutes of cooking - the key to a perfect turkey is being attentive and caring. When the turkey meat registers at 74° celsius (you can measure this with a meat thermometer), take it out of the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes. Carve, serve and surprise all you friends and family with your amazing culinary skills!

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