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To brine the turkey you need space for a 5 gallon pan
in your refrigerator.
If you don't have the room or the pan, you can cook the
brine in a smaller pan.


2 1/2 gallons water
2 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 cup maple syrup
24 bay leaves
24 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup whole black peppercorns
2 small bunches fresh flat leaf parsley (about 4 oz)
1 small bunch fresh sage (about 1 ounce)
6 medium sprigs fresh rosemary
Zest and juice of 4 large lemons (remove zest in long strips with vegetable peeler)


1 (14 to 16 lb) natural turkey (preferably fresh)
1 recipe Three Herb Butter, softened
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 oz (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted


2 1/2 oz (5 tbsp) unsalted butter
2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) flour
4 cups Three Herb Turkey Broth or low salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Three Herb Butter
1/2 lb (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 3 oz)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (from about 1oz parsley sprigs)
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme leaves (from about 3/4 oz thyme sprigs)
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves (from about 1/2 oz sage sprigs)
Three Herb Turkey Broth
1 1/2 to 2 lbs turkey parts, such as backs, wings or legs
1 large onion (about 12 oz), coarsely chopped
4 large stalks celery (about 9 ounces), coarsely chopped
2 small carrots (about 4 oz), coarsely chopped
2 cups dry white wine
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
Half a small bunch fresh flat leaf parsley (about 1 oz)
Half a small bunch fresh sage (about 1/2 oz)
Half a small bunch fresh thyme (about 1/3 ounce)
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns

1. Two days ahead of time- Prepare the brine:

Put all the brine ingredients in a 5 gallon stockpot with a lid. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and cover the pot. Refrigerate brine until cold, preferably overnight.

2. One day ahead:

Brine the turkey:
If already loose, trim tail from the turkey; otherwise, leave it attached. Remove and discard the giblets.
Keep the neck and tail in the refrigerator.
Rinse turkey and put it in the pot with the brine.
Refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours before roasting the turkey.

3. Prepare and roast the turkey:

Position a rack in the bottom of the oven and heat oven to 350 F. Remove turkey from brine and discard brine.
Rinse turkey well and pat dry. Set it in a large flameproof roasting pan. Gently slide your hand between the breast meat and skin to separate the skin so you can apply the herb butter. Slice the herb butter into 1/4 inch thick rounds and distribute them evenly between the skin and breast meat, completely covering the breast. Maneuver a few pieces between the skin and legs also.
Next, with your hands on the outside of the turkey, massage the butter under the skin to distribute it evenly and break up the round pieces so the turkey won't look polka dotted when it's done.

4. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of the salt and 1 tbsp of the pepper in the cavity of the turkey. Tie the legs together. Fold the wings back and tuck the tips under the neck area. Flip the turkey onto its breast, pat the back dry and brush with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle with some of the remaining salt and pepper. Flip the turkey over, pat dry again, brush all over with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper. Put the reserved neck and tail in the pan with the turkey. Cover the pan very tightly with foil and put in the oven, legs pointing to the back of the oven if possible (the legs can handle the higher heat in the back better than the breast can). Roast undisturbed for 2 hours and then uncover carefully (watch out for escaping steam). Continue to roast, basting every 15 minutes with the drippings that have collected in the pan until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of both thighs reads 170 to 175 F. and juices run clear when thermometer is removed, (45 minutes to 1 hour more) for a 15 lb turkey.

5. Remove turkey from the oven. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, move the turkey to a serving platter.
Cover with foil to keep warm and set aside. Discard neck and tail; reserve the drippings in the roasting pan.
Let turkey rest for 30 minutes while you make gravy and heat the side dishes.

6. Make the gravy:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat until foaming. Add the flour and quickly whisk it into the butter until it's completely incorporated. Cook, whisking constantly until the roux smells toasty and darkens slightly to a light caramel color, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully, as you don't want it to get too dark.
Remove from the heat and set aside.

7. Pour the reserved turkey drippings into a clear, heatproof container, preferably a fat separator cup. (Don't rinse the roasting pan). Let set until the fat rises to the top and then pour out 1 cup of the juices, (or remove and discard the fat with a ladle and measure 1 cup of the juices). Combine the juices with the turkey or chicken broth.

8. Set the roasting pan on top of the stove over two burners on medium heat. Add the Pinot Noir and simmer, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to release any stuck on bits, until the wine has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add broth mixture and simmer to meld the flavors, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the roux a little at a time until you have reached your desired thickness (you may not want to use it all). Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a fine sieve and transfer to a serving dish.

On a large piece of plastic wrap, shape the herb butter into a log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

Make Ahead:
The butter can be made up to 1 week ahead and refrigerated or up to 2 months ahead and frozen. If frozen, take the butter out of the freezer and store in the refrigerator a day before you plan to use it.
Three-Herb Turkey Broth
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Put the turkey parts in a small roasting pan (approximately 9 by13 inches) along with the onion, celery and carrots. Roast until the meat is well browned, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Transfer the turkey parts and vegetables to a 4 quart saucepan.
Add the wine to the roasting pan and scrape any browned bits with a wooden spoon to release them into the wine. Pour the wine into the saucepan and add the chicken broth, herbs, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over
medium high heat; reduce heat to medium low or low and simmer gently until meat is falling off the bone, 30 to 40 minutes skimming occasionally to remove the fat and foam that rises to the top. Strain the broth through a fine sieve, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove any solidified fat before using.

Make Ahead:
The turkey broth can be made up to 4 days ahead and refrigerated or up to 2 months ahead and frozen.

Make Ahead Tips:

The brine should be prepared 2 days before the Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey should be brined the day before. The roux may be prepared on Thanksgiving day and left at room temperature; whisk to re-combine before using.