Dry-brined roast turkey

The trick to a succulent turkey is the brine. Dry or wet, this will ensure the juices remain inside the bird as well as adding more depth of flavour.

Dry-brined roast turkey


Dry brine

  • ¾ cup coarse sea salt
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp star anise
  • 1 Clementine, zested


  • 6kg turkey
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 1 Clementine
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 100g butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup red wine

Basting liquid

  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tsp soy sauce


  1. Start by mixing together the ingredients for the dry brine.
  2. Cover the turkey making sure to get the brine all over the bird.
  3. Place in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  5. Wash the brine off of the turkey and pat dry.
  6. Cut the garlic head in half and place inside the cavity of the turkey.
  7. Cut the Clementine and lemon into wedges and place inside the turkey.
  8. Place the rosemary into the turkey.
  9. Cut the onions into wedges and place a few into the turkey and the rest in the roasting pan.
  10. Rub the turkey breast all over with the butter and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Place the stock and the wine into the roasting pan.
  12. Roast at 220°C for 35 mins until the skin has browned all over.
  13. Make the basting liquid by placing all the ingredients into a small saucepan and allow to bubble until fragrant. Set aside and keep warm.
  14. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and continue to cook for approx. 3 hours, basting with the rosemary butter every 30 mins, until a thermometer placed into the thickest part of the flesh reads 65°C. If the skin is getting too brown, cover the turkey with foil and return to the oven.
  15. Remove from the oven an cover in foil and allow the turkey to rest for 45 mins so that the juices are allowed to redistribute before carving.

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