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Best Thanksgiving turkey with LCBO's wine of the month

Perfectly roasted turkey with red wine gravy made with pan drippings.

A fool-proof, easy recipe for roasted turkey with a sauce that will impress the guests!

Why you'll love this recipe?

The meat is incredibly moist, including the breast, and the skin is crispy.

The bird is dry brined and thus easier to brine than when using a wet brine.

Thawing and brining are happening together.

Reduced roasting time due to brining.

Lower chance of overcooking; the brine will help keep the meat moist.

The gravy is made with pan drippings; it's incredibly aromatic and requires no extra seasoning.

Prep Time 45 minutes | Cook Time 1hour 30minutes | Additional Time 3days | Total Time 3days 2hours | Servings 8 | Calories 1131kcal


  • 1 whole turkey fresh or frozen (Note 1, 2)

  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt Note 3

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • For stuffing and roasting:

  • ½ cup (scant) unsalted butter 100 g

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • some freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ¼ cup Le Ponnant wine 300 ml

  • 1 cup (scant) water 200 ml

  • For the red wine gravy:

  • pan drippings

  • ⅔ cup red wine 150 ml

  • 1 cup (scant) chicken/turkey stock 200 ml

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons cold water

  • 2 onion divided

  • 2 oranges divided

  • 1 large twig rosemary Note 4


  1. Defrost: If the turkey is frozen let thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before dry brining.

Dry brine:

  1. Mix the salt and all the spices in a small bowl. Rub the turkey very well all over.

  2. Refrigerate: Wrap it well in plastic wrap/cling film, place in baking dish upside down, and brine and thaw for 48 hours. Turn it over after the first 24 hours.


  • Prepare turkey: Remove from the fridge and unwrap one-two hours before roasting. Remove the giblets if they are inside the turkey. Carefully pat the skin dry with kitchen paper.

  • Preheat oven: Start preheating the oven to 220 degrees Celsius/ 430 degrees Fahrenheit about ½ hour before the turkey needs to go in the oven.

  • Season: Melt the butter in a small pan. Use 1 tablespoon of it to smear the turkey inside the cavity. Rub it inside with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and some pepper as well.

  • Stuff: Quarter one onion and one orange. Place the wedges and the rosemary inside the body.

  • Bind the legs with kitchen twine.

  • Assemble: Place the remaining halved or quartered onion and orange in the roasting tin. Place a rack on top (See note 5 for substituting a rack). Place the turkey, breast side down, on the rack. Brush with half of the melted butter. Pour the red wine in the tin, around the turkey, not on it.

  • Roast at high temperature for 30 minutes.

  • Flip: Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 170 degrees Celsius/ 340 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the turkey breast side up and brush well with the remaining melted butter (if the butter is not melted anymore, reheat). Pour the water into the tin around the turkey.

  • Roast at a lower temperature for one hour. Check from time to time, if the skin turns too brown too soon, cover it loosely with aluminum foil (it depends on your oven). Check 10 minutes before the roasting time is over. If the skin is not brown enough, increase the temperature to 220 degrees Celsius/ 430 degrees Fahrenheit again.

  • Check the internal temperature with a kitchen thermometer: it should be 75 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit (Note 6). If the turkey is not quite there yet, roast for 5-10 more minutes and check again.

  • Rest: Remove from the oven and transfer to a large plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make the red wine gravy.

Le Ponnant wine gravy:

  • Strain the pan drippings through a fine-mesh sieve into a larger bowl. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to allow the fat to separate from the rest. Remove the fat from the surface of the bowl with a flatter spoon.

  • Reduce wine: In the meantime, pour the wine into a small saucepan, bring to a boil on medium heat and reduce by half. It will take about the time you need to cool and remove the fat from the drippings, but keep checking.

  • Boil: Once the wine is reduced, add the drippings and the stock. Bring to a boil again.

  • Thicken gravy: In a small bowl, mix the starch and the cold water. Carefully, pour into the gravy while whisking continuously to avoid clumps. Let bubble for 1 minute or until the sauce is thickened to your liking.


  1. Size: My turkey weighed 4,2 kg/ 9 lbs. If roasting a larger one, increase the roasting time as indicated below.

  2. Frozen: If the turkey is frozen, it will need about 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator. Brine the partially thawed bird after 1 day, and continue thawing and brining it for the following two days.

  3. Salt: I always use fine sea salt (or Kosher salt).

  4. Herbs: Substitute 1 small bunch of sage or thyme.

  5. Rack substitute: Take a large piece of aluminum foil, scrunch it up lengthwise to form some kind of a rope. To make the rope thicker, take another piece of the same size, use it to wrap the first “rope” and scrunch it up again. Form a loop or a spiral and place it in the roasting tin.

  6. Internal temperature: Stick the thermometer into the meatiest part of the thigh, which is a little under the drumstick, but not as obvious as a chicken thigh is. Insert the thermometer in the thigh keeping it parallel to the body of the bird. Make sure that you don't touch the bone when measuring the temperature.

  7. Roasting time: Roughly 12-13 minutes per 500 g/ 1.1 lb. Always check the internal temperature.4 kg/ 9 lb: 1 hour 30-40 minutes 5 kg / 11 lb: 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours6 kg / 13 lb: 2 hours 15-25 minutes7 kg / 15.5 lb: 2 hours 40-50 minutes8 kg / 17.5 lb: 2 hours 45 minutes – 3 hours

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