Holiday Brined Turkey with Wine, Shallots, and Cranberries
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Please note that the Prep time is for hands on time only. This is a great prep-ahead recipe, since the turkey should brine for 1 to 2 days.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 to 16 servings
  • 1 quart water
  • 1½ cups kosher salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Riesling wine
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced, divided
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed but left in skins
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, slightly crushed, divided
  • 1 (16-pound) turkey, giblet package and neck removed
  • Ice water, for covering turkey
  • ½ cup mild or extra-light olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  1. In a large pot, bring the 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to a boil. Stir until the salt is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Pour the brine into a 5-gallon stockpot or container. Pour in the wine and add one shallot, garlic, thyme (reserving some for stuffing turkey), and 1 cup cranberries.
  3. Slowly lower the turkey into the brine. Pour enough ice water into the pot to cover the turkey. Cover and refrigerate the turkey for at least 24 hours.
  4. Preheat your oven to 500ºF.
  5. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Place the turkey in a roasting pan, and stuff with the remaining shallot, thyme, and cranberries.
  6. Generously massage olive oil into the skin of the turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Use kitchen twine to tie the turkey legs together.
  8. Roast the turkey for 20 minutes. Lightly brush the skin again with olive oil, and reduce the oven heat to 350ºF. Roast the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 155 to 160ºF. This often takes around 3 hours.
  9. Allow turkey to rest, loosely covered with foil, for 30 minutes before carving.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at