Recipe: Dry Brined Turkey with Classic Herb Butter

This recipe is not for a Kosher Bird, which is already brined. Use only for a frozen or fresh bird.

Learn how to earn a FREE TURKEY from Steeple Market!


  • 1 fresh or frozen turkey (1 to 1 1/2 pounds per person)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Unwrap the turkey and remove the neck and giblets (reserve for gravy).
  2. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry.
  3. Combine 1/3 cup salt, the sugar, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.
  4. Rub all over the turkey and inside the cavity.
  5. Put on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or overnight.
  6. Rinse well and pat dry. (A dry brine is a good choice if you’re short on fridge space.)
  7. Mix the butter, parsley, sage, thyme, 1 teaspoon pepper, the paprika, and cloves until combined.
  8. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the butter, then rub the rest under the turkey skin on the breasts and legs.
  9. Rub 2 tablespoons of the reserved butter on the skin; chill and save the rest for your gravy.
  10. Let the turkey stand 30 minutes at room temperature before roasting.
  11. Put the oven rack in the lowest position; preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. Put the turkey breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan, tucking the wing tips under.
  13. Tie the drumsticks together with twine.
  14. Roast until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 15 minutes per pound.
  15. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes before carving.