Love Ina Garten as much as I do? Then be sure to check out how to make Ina Garten's Perfectly Roasted Turkey. This recipe is pure perfection.
I have been a long time fan of Ina Garten. In fact, when I first started watching Paula Deen and learned how to make Paula Deen's House Seasoning, I discovered Ina Garten.
She quickly became one of my favorite Food Network chef personalities because she seemed approachable and her food looked amazing.
Her style of cooking just really spoke to me. Everything always looks upscale but with minimal prep and ingredients, which is how I like to cook. One of the first recipes of hers I made were these Ina Garten Lemon Bars. Then I ventured out this past summer and made her Summer Pasta Salad.
When I learned about her method for the most perfectly roasted turkey, I knew I was going to have to give it a try.
How to Make Ina Garten's Perfectly Roasted Turkey
Ina makes a dry brine for her turkeys. I have always only done a wet brine, so doing a dry brine really intrigued me.
Two or three days before you plan to roast the turkey, combine 3 tablespoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of minced thyme, and the grated zest of one lemon.
Be sure to dry your turkey off well with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt mixture in the cavity of the turkey and rub the rest on the skin, including under the wings and legs.
Ina uses a shallow dish to put her turkey in. The dish is just big enough to hold the turkey and then she wraps it with some plastic wrap. You can do this up to two days ahead of cooking it.
When you are ready to roast the turkey, remove the wrap and allow the turkey to stay in the fridge for a few hours. The skin will dry out and turn a little translucent.
Now, I have only ever cooked a whole turkey in one piece, at one temperature. But Ina breaks it down even more and has us cooking the turkey, then trimming some off, and cooking more.
Here is her version —
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Put the turkey in a large roasting pan, discarding any juices in the dish. Place your other veggies in the cavity of the bird.
Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and make sure the wings are tucked close to the body. Brush the turkey with the butter and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.
Roast the turkey for 2 to 2¼ hours, until the breast meat registers 165 degrees (put the thermometer in sideways) on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove from the oven and place the turkey on a platter. Now, at this point, Ina cuts off the legs and thighs and puts them back into the roasting pan. She then covers the breast and carcass tightly with aluminum foil.
The legs and thighs go back into the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the dark meat registers 180 degrees.
Now, you can plate all the turkey on a platter and let it all rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Ina Garten's perfectly roasted turkey hits the spot every single time. I love how easy this is to make and how wonderful it tastes. That dry brine really does it for me.
This turkey would go perfect with my Old Fashioned Sage Cornbread Dressing and my Parker House Rolls.
Ina Garten's turkey recipe and her gravy and dressing can be found here.
Ina Garten's Perfectly Roasted Turkey
Ina Garten's turkey recipe with dry brine is one of the best turkey recipes I have found on the Internet.
For the Dry Brine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
For the Turkey
- 1 (12- to 14-pound) fresh turkey
- 1 large yellow onion, unpeeled and cut in eighths
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Two or three days before you plan to roast the turkey, combine 3 tablespoons of salt, the minced thyme, and lemon zest.
- Wash the turkey inside and out, drain it well, and pat it all over with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt mixture in the cavity of the turkey and rub the rest on the skin, including under the wings and legs.
- Place the turkey in a shallow dish just large enough to hold it and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one or two days.
- The day before you plan to roast the turkey, remove the plastic wrap, and leave the turkey in the fridge. The skin will dry out and turn a little translucent.
- ON THE DAY YOU ARE COOKING THE TURKEY -- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Put the turkey in a large roasting pan, discarding any juices in the dish. Place the onion, lemon, and thyme sprigs in the cavity.
- With kitchen string, tie the legs together and the wings close to the body. Brush the turkey with the butter and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.
- Roast the turkey for 2 to 2¼ hours, until the breast meat registers 165 degrees (put the thermometer in sideways) on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove from the oven and place the turkey on a platter. Cut off the legs and thighs and put them back into the roasting pan, covering the breast and carcass tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place the roasting pan back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dark meat registers 180 degrees.
- Remove the dark meat to the platter with the turkey, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
Friday 18th of November 2022
I will be making this recipe for Thanksgiving just like I have for the past 2 years. It makes a flavorful juicy turkey with golden brown skin. My family loves it and goes on and on about it!!!
Monday 21st of November 2022
I love hearing that! It is a favorite around here for sure.
Thursday 17th of November 2022
I’m intrigued by the directions to remove the legs and return them to the oven to finish roasting. I’ve always allowed the turkey to rest before carving. BUT I’m eager to find a method that doesn’t overcook the breast. My question: do you lose a lot of the juices by removing the legs before the resting period? Thanks.
Monday 21st of November 2022
I have not noticed that at all. They seem to be just fine.
Tuesday 8th of November 2022
Should I bring the turkey to room temp before I put it in the oven on cooking day?
Wednesday 16th of November 2022
I don't. You can if you want to, but I don't.
Sunday 14th of November 2021
I made this turkey about 3 thanksgivings ago. I was very reluctant but figured I give it a try. I can say wothout a doubt that this was one of the best turkeys I ever had - even my mother who hates turkey raved about it.
Monday 15th of November 2021
It is a very good turkey for sure.