Herb-Brined Roast Turkey

Presented by Chef Chris Coleman, The Asbury at The Dunhill Hotel


12 cups water

2/3 cup kosher salt

2/3 cup brown sugar

Several sprigs of fresh rosemary

Several sprigs of fresh thyme

1 to 2 tablespoons juniper berries (optional)

1 to 2 tablespoons of peppercorns

1 (12- to 14-lb.) whole fresh turkey, thawed*

Herbed Butter:

½ stick butter (4 tablespoons), at room temp

¼ cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh shallots

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 tablespooon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespooon chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

1 stalk celery, chopped

½ onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 turkey-size oven roasting bag (for ours, we used Reynolds Brand)

1. Combine the ingredients for the brine in a large, clean, airtight container.

2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey; pat turkey dry. Add turkey to the brine. Chill 10 to 24 hours.

3. Combine the ingredients for the Herbed Butter.  Loosen skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin; spread butter mixture under skin. Replace skin, securing with wooden picks if desired.

4. Preheat oven to 350°.

5. Prepare the oven cooking bag according to package directions, adding flour as directed by the package. Place chopped celery, onion and carrot in the cavity of the turkey. Tie ends of legs together with string; tuck wing tips under and place the turkey in the oven cooking bag. Place the bag in a large roasting pan or pan with sides at least two inches deep.  Tie the bag with the string included in the oven bag package. Cut six half-inch slits in the bag to allow the steam to escape. Tuck ends of bag in pan. Place pan in the oven; don't allow it to touch the sides of the oven or heating elements. The bag should not hang outside of the pan.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the turkey thigh registers 170 degrees. (You can insert the thermometer straight through the bag and into the turkey.) The amount of cooking time will vary based on the size of the turkey and your oven:

6. Remove turkey from oven. Cut open top of bag and remove turkey to serving platter. Let stand 30 minutes, loosely tented with aluminum foil, before carving. Garnish platter as desired.

*If you use a frozen turkey, skip the brining process, as that turkey has already been injected with a salt solution.

Note: For additional turkey roasting tips, visit or call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line (Registered trademark):

The Talk Line phone number is 1-800-288-8372.

Recipe from Chef Chris Coleman, Executive Chef at The Asbury at The Dunhill Hotel in Uptown Charlotte, 235 North Tryon Street, 704-342-1193,

Don't feel like cooking? Make reservations for Chef Coleman's Thanksgiving Dinner at the restaurant:


Come and watch the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day in uptown before sitting down at The Asbury or with your family. It's a free, family-friendly, a Charlotte tradition, and steps off at 9:30 am on Thanksgiving Day in Uptown Charlotte. Shows at 4pm on WBTV.