Herb-Brined Creole Turkey

Herb-Brined Creole Turkey Recipe
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Linda Hirst

Recipe from

Coastal Living

Recipe Time

Prep: 15 Minutes
Marinate: 12 Hours
Roast: 3 Hours


1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
8 garlic cloves, crushed
12 cups apple cider or apple juice
1 (12- to 14-pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
1/4 cup Creole seasoning
1/4 cup melted butter


1. Combine first 5 ingredients and 6 cups apple cider in a stockpot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in remaining 6 cups apple cider. Cool mixture completely.

2. Rinse turkey with cold water. Place in a turkey-size oven bag, and place bagged turkey inside a second bag; add cider mixture to first bag with turkey. Secure bags. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally. (If space is lacking in your refrigerator, secure bags, place in a beverage cooler, and cover with ice. Check periodically and replace ice, if necessary.)

3. Remove turkey from bags, and discard brine. Rinse turkey with cold water; drain and pat dry with paper towels.

4. Loosen and lift skin from turkey with fingers, without totally detaching skin; spread 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning under skin. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon seasoning inside cavity. Sprinkle turkey skin with remaining 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning. Let turkey stand 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 325°. Place turkey on a roasting rack, breast side up; brush entire bird with melted butter. Roast about 3 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 180°. (Shield turkey with aluminum foil after 1 hour to prevent excessive browning, if necessary.) Brush with pan juices occasionally during last 60 minutes of cooking. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Julia Dowling Rutland,

Coastal Living

November 2012