Put a new twist on your turkey with a seasonal brine made with sweet Riesling, garlic cloves, thyme, fresh cranberries and olive oil.
Brining makes a moist, juicy turkey that will be the pièce de résistance of your holiday dinner. If you’re cooking your turkey on the grill or smoker, you need to wet brine first to keep the meat moist. For tips on how to brine a turkey before roasting or grilling, see How To Brine a Turkey for the Moistest Meat.
Cranberry Riesling Brined Turkey
- 1 qt water
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
- 1½ c kosher salt
- 1 bottle Riesling wine
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced, divided
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed but left in skins
- 1 bunch fresh thyme, divided
- 2 c fresh cranberries, slightly crushed, divided
- 1 fresh turkey (16 pounds), giblet package and neck removed
- ice water, for covering turkey
- ½ c Bertolli Mild Olive Oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In pot, bring water, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seeds and kosher salt to boil. Stir until salt is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- Pour brine into 5-gallon stock pot or container. Pour in wine then add one shallot, garlic, thyme (reserving some for stuffing turkey) and 1 cup cranberries. Slowly lower in turkey.
- Pour ice water into pot to cover turkey. Place lid on pot and refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours.
- Heat oven to 500° F. Remove turkey from brine, pat dry and stuff with reserved shallot, thyme and cranberries.
- Place turkey in roasting pan. Generously massage olive oil into skin of turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Use kitchen twine to tie legs together so turkey will keep its shape. Place in roasting pan and roast 20 minutes. Lightly brush skin again with olive oil, reduce heat to 350° F and roast until internal temperature reaches 155-160° F on meat thermometer.
- Allow turkey to rest, loosely covered with foil, 30 minutes before carving.
Recipe courtesy Bertolli Olive Oil, photo provided by Getty Images.
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