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how to roast a turkey

Roast Turkey with Olive Oil & Herbs

This is a roast turkey recipe that uses an infused garlic olive oil, fresh herbs, and a hint of lemon for a juicy and delicious holiday dinner.

  • Total Time: 5 hrs
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


Units Scale

For the brine:

  • 23 gallons of water (enough to cover turkey)
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • 1 red onion sliced thin
  • 710 crushed garlic cloves (about a whole head)
  • 1 lemon cut into slices.
  • 2 cups dry white wine

For Turkey:

  • 1 10-20 lb Turkey
  • 1 cup garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 sliced lemon (for cavity)
  • 1 soaked olive oil infused cheesecloth

For the Gravy

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 turkey neck
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 garlic head cut in half
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the garlic infused olive oil:

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 35 crushed garlic cloves





To brine:

  • Place brine bag in a designated bringing container. Take the turkey out of its packaging and place the turkey in the brine bag.
  • Place 1/2 gallon of hot water in a pot or ceramic pitcher and add salt and sugar. Stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and pour into brine bag with turkey. Add more water to the brine bag until the turkey is completely covered with water and mix up the brine to even out ingredients.
  • Tie the bag shut securely, place lid on top, and put into the refrigerator for 24 hours or overnight.

For the Infused Olive Oil:

  • Add 1 cup of olive oil and crushed garlic to a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a simmer on medium heat.
  • Once simmering,  reduce heat to medium-low and continue to let simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Soak enough cheesecloth to cover the turkey.

For Turkey:

  • In a small bowl add all of the dry seasonings for the top of the turkey and mix.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine solution, pat dry and let sit out at room temperature for at least an hour.
  • Place turkey on a roasting pan with the rack.
  • Tuck the wings behind the neck by lifting them up and behind. (optional step to prevent the tips from burning)
  • Bring the legs together and tie with cooking twine. This will help the chicken brown evenly.
  • Wring out the cheesecloth and set it aside. Rub the leftover infused olive oil all over the turkey and under the skin, then sprinkle with seasonings. Make sure to put some seasonings under the skin. Take the garlic that was used to infuse the olive oil and put under the skin and on some of the turkey. Garnish with extra sprigs of herbs if desired.
  • Cover with oil-soaked cheesecloth.
  • Add 1 cup water, 1 cup white wine, 1 cup chicken stock, the neck of the turkey, herbs, and the garlic head that is cut in half to the bottom of the pan under the turkey.
  • Place in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. 
  • After 30 minutes reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and cook the turkey for a couple more hours depending on the size.
  • Baste the turkey with juices from the bottom of the pan at least every hour.
  • In the last hour of cooking remove the cheesecloth for the turkey and baste it every 30 minutes.
  • Check the temperature of the turkey and monitor it after a couple of hours in the oven. Turkey will be done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 165 degrees.
  • Follow packaging instructions for exact cooking times. Cooking times may vary.
  • Once you remove the turkey from the oven, cover with foil and let sit for 30 minutes. It will continue to roast for a few minutes and all the juices will incorporate into the turkey.

For the Gravy:

  • Once the turkey is done and has rested for 30 minutes remove from the pan and place on a platter.
  • Take the rack out of the pan and put the pan onto a large burner or two burners on medium heat. De glaze the pan with 1/2 cup white wine and whisk.
  • Add 2 tbsp flour and whisk and let simmer for a few minutes.
  • Transfer to a small saucepan on medium/low heat.
  • Add 1 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup heavy cream and whisk.
  • Let simmer and cook until gravy thickens, add additional seasonings to taste.
  • Remove the sauce pan from the heat and place in a gravy bowl to serve.


For the hot water in the brine, I just use hot tap water that is hot enough to dissolve the sugar.

If you don’t have a roasting pan with a rack you can use potatoes or vegetables to hold the turkey above the juices.

Always follow packaging instructions for each turkey. A turkey is considered done when a thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 165 degrees.

  • Author: Amy
  • Prep Time: 1 hr
  • Cook Time: 3-4 hours (15 minutes per lb.
  • Category: Recipes, Main Dish