Roast Turkey & Herbs

For the Brine:
(adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary

To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.

Prepare the brine and use on thawed turkey for 4 to 24 hours, I did for about 18 hours.

For the Turkey:

(adapted from
1 – 16 pound whole turkey – thawed
¾ cup olive oil
3 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper, salt to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.

Rinse inside and out and then pat turkey dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin.

Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven 4 to 5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).