Best Turkey Recipes

By Fabiana Santana

The search is on for the best turkey recipes! With Thanksgiving just weeks away, we’ve compiled the best of the best turkey recipes from the world’s best chefs. From roasted to fried, these turkey recipes will make your holiday a hit!

Roast TurkeyBest Turkey Recipes: Roast Turkey

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil

Directions:

2 to 3 days before roasting:

  1. Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
  2. Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:

  1. Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
  3. Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
  5. Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Best Turkey Recipes: Deep-Fried TurkeyDeep-Fried Turkey

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart
Yield: 12 Servings
Level: Difficult
*This recipe should be made outdoors; making it in the kitchen is too dangerous.
Ingredients:

  • Fresh turkey (15 pounds)
  • 25 medium dried bay leaves
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons Konriko brand, or other hot Creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 gallons peanut oil

Directions:

  1. Wash turkey inside and out under cold running water; pat dry. Finely grind bay leaves in spice grinder; transfer to small bowl. Finely grind thyme, oregano, and peppercorns separately; add to bay leaves. Mix in Creole seasoning and garlic powder.
  2. Rub 1/3 spice mixture on inside of turkey, 1/3 under skin of breast, and 1/3 on outside of turkey; place in roasting pan. Cover; marinate overnight in refrigerator or up to 24 hours.
  3. Bring turkey to room temperate. Using a wooden skewer, thread neck flap securely to bottom of turkey. Fold wing tips under. Using steel or aluminum wire, truss legs and tail’s nose together securely; form a handle with wire. This will enable you to hold turkey while submerging in hot oil.
  4. Heat oil in 10-gallon pot with liner basket over high heat until temperature registers 360 degrees. Holding turkey by handle, immerse in oil. Maintain temperature at 360 degrees.while frying. Fry until golden brown, about 45 minutes, or 3 minutes per pound.
  5. 5. Lift turkey from oil; transfer to a wire rack over a roasting pan. Drain for 15 minutes. Serve.

Best Turkey Recipes: Herb Roasted Turkey with Pan GravyHerb Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray
Yield: 8 Servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion (golf-ball size), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed clean
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • A large handful of fresh flat leaf parsley (about 1/2 cup, from 12 stems)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for oiling pan
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 boneless turkey breast halves, skin on (about 2-2 1/2 pounds each)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup apple brandy or regular brandy, such as Calvados brand
  • 2-3 cups apple cider

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F. Oil a roasting pan and set it aside.
  2. Put the onion into the bowl of a mini food processor. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the lemon in thin strips, being careful not to cut into the bitter white pith. Add the lemon zest to the food processor and reserve the whole lemon for another use. Chop the onion and lemon zest in the food processor until fine. Add the sage, parsley, EVOO and one teaspoon salt and pulse until it forms a coarse paste.
  3. Put two of the bay leaves and the butter into a small pan and heat over medium-low heat until the butter is bubbling. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Put the turkey breasts on a work surface. Carefully run your fingers between the skin and the flesh from one end, being careful not to pull it completely off, creating a pocket. Season the turkey breasts generously with salt and pepper. Stuff half of the herb paste under the skin of each breast and spread it evenly under the skin.
  5. Transfer the breasts to the roasting pan and slide two bay leaves underneath each breast. (The heat of the pan will release the bay leaf oils and flavor the breast). Using a pastry brush, baste the breasts with half of the bay leaf butter.
  6. Wash your hands after handling the raw poultry.
  7. Place the turkey in the oven and immediately decrease the temperature to 400°F. After 20 minutes, baste the turkey breasts with the remaining bay leaf butter and roast for an additional 20-25 minutes until cooked through and a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast registers 170°F.
  8. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to a platter, cover and let rest for 10 minutes before carving while you make the gravy.
  9. Put the roasting pan over a burner on medium heat. Sprinkle flour over the pan juices and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the apple brandy and scrape the pan to lift the bits that are stuck to the bottom. Cook for a minute to burn off the alcohol, then, while stirring, pour in the apple cider. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Slice the turkey breast on the diagonal and serve with warm gravy.

Best Turkey Recipes: Citrus-Marinated TurkeyCitrus-Marinated Turkey

Recipe courtesy Jose Andres
Yield: 12 Servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

Brined Turkey:

  • 1 gallon(s) water
  • 2 cup(s) apple cider
  • 2 cup(s) kosher salt
  • 2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 (15-pound) fresh turkey, giblets and neck reserved

Marinade:

  • 10 clove(s) roasted garlic (see Tips & Techniques)
  • 10 clove(s) raw garlic
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup(s) fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup(s) cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup(s) kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoon(s) fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoon(s) dried oregano
  • 3 chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoon(s) annatto paste (see Tips & Techniques)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground allspice

Turkey:

  • 9 cup(s) chicken or turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • Reserved turkey giblets and neck, liver discarded
  • 3 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 10 clove(s) roasted garlic (see Tips & Techniques)
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Brine the turkey: In a very large bowl, stir the water, apple cider, kosher salt, and sugar until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Line a stock pot with a large, sturdy doubled plastic bag. Put the turkey in the bag, neck first. Pour in the brine and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  2. Marinate the turkey: Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. In a blender, combine the roasted garlic with the 10 raw garlic cloves, the vegetable oil, orange juice, cider vinegar, kosher salt, lime juice, oregano, chipotles, annatto paste, cumin, and allspice. Puree until smooth. Slather the turkey inside and out with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Cook the turkey: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lift the turkey out of the marinade and set on a rack in a roasting pan. Brush the breast with some of the marinade. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the stock into the bottom of the pan and cover the turkey very loosely with foil. Roast the turkey for 2 hours. Remove the foil and add another 1 1/2 cups of the stock to the pan. Continue roasting for about 2 1/2 hours longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 175°F.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil. Add the giblets and neck and cook over moderate heat until browned. Transfer to a plate. Add the shallots, carrots, celery, and onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Return the turkey parts to the saucepan. Stir in the roasted garlic and peppercorns, add the remaining 6 cups of stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the stock is reduced to 4 cups, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain the enriched stock into a heatproof bowl and discard the solids.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and remove the rack from the pan. Pour the pan juices into a bowl and skim off the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons. Transfer the reserved fat to a saucepan. Add the butter and flour and cook over high heat, whisking constantly, until golden brown, 2 minutes. Add the enriched stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the gravy is reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes.
  6. Place the roasting pan over one burner on high heat. Add the strained, defatted pan drippings (there should be 1 cup) and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Strain the pan drippings into the gravy and season with salt and pepper; keep warm.
  7. Carve the turkey and transfer the slices to a platter. Serve with the gravy.