Slow-Roasted Turkey with Herb Salt


"The greatest poultry I've ever had was in France, where it's dry-brined to concentrate the flavor," says Frank Stitt. Slideshow:  Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes 

Slow-Roasted Turkey with Herb Salt
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 30 mins


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried savory

  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • One 14-pound organic turkey, rinsed and patted dry

  • 1 onion, quartered

  • 1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  1. Set a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix the salt and pepper with all of the dried herbs and the lemon zest. Rub the herb salt all over the turkey cavity. Transfer the turkey to the baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for 2 days.

  2. Transfer the turkey to a clean rack set over a clean baking sheet; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Stuff the turkey with the onion, celery and garlic. Tuck the wings under the breast and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Brush the turkey all over with the butter. Put it in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 275°. Roast the turkey for about 3 hours and 15 minutes, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 165°. Cover the turkey with foil and let rest for 1 hour. Carve and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Rhône-style red blend.

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