Chef Christine Cushing’s Recipe for Dry Brined Roast Turkey with Brown Butter, Rosemary, Gewürztraminer Gravy

Chef Christine Cushing shared her delicious Dry Brined Roast Turkey recipe with brown butter, rosemary, gewürztraminer gravy. This unique twist on a holiday classic only takes 20 minutes to prep and is sure to be a party favourite.

Dry Brined Roast Turkey

Dry Brined Roast Turkey with Brown Butter, Rosemary, Gewürztraminer Gravy

Serves: 12-14
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours + overnight for brining


For the turkey

  • 1 12-14 lb turkey (5.5-6 kg)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. Kosher salt (25 ml)
  • ¼ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • Several sprigs each of rosemary and thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, keep juice for sauce
  • Several sprigs (4) rosemary
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots peeled
  • 1 whole lemon, quartered
  • Several whole sage leaves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup Gewürztraminer dry white wine (250 ml)
  • Water, as needed approx. 1 Cup (250 ml)

For the sauce

  • 1 cup turkey broth (250 ml) + pan drippings + extra chicken stock (total 2 cups (500 ml))
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (25 ml)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. flour (30 ml)
  • 1 cup dry Gewürztraminer dry white wine (250 ml)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, smashed to release oils
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Bay leaf


For the turkey

1. 24 hours prior to roasting, remove giblets and turkey neck from turkey cavity. Save these to use in the roasting pan for stock.

2. Combine the kosher salt and ground pepper together and blend. With bird in roasting pan, preferably on a rack, sprinkle inside of turkey cavity with 2 tsp. (10ml) of mixture. Sprinkle another 2 tsp. (10ml) over legs and wings, making sure to sprinkle from a height
to ensure light dusting. Lastly sprinkle the remainder of salt mixture evenly over breast area with a light dusting. Transfer to fridge and let brine uncovered for 16-24 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

4. The following day, remove turkey from fridge. DO NOT rinse or skin will not crisp up. Stuff cavity with several sprigs of fresh herbs and 2 cloves of garlic.

5. Drizzle with olive oil for sheen over entire surface of turkey and sprinkle with finely chopped rosemary and finely grated lemon zest. Add some mirepoix, quartered lemon and herbs to roasting pan, pour wine and some water around turkey and add the 2 other garlic cloves and roast, breast side up, at 350°F, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reads 170°F, approximately 1.5-2 hours. Note that time can vary. Remove, tent and let rest for 45 minutes.

For the sauce

1. Remove the turkey and place onto a cutting board and let rest 45 minutes. While turkey is resting, drain out pan drippings into a fat separator and discard most of the fat.

2. Brown butter over medium heat until just noisette, then add the flour and whisk till smooth. Cook out a few minutes. Remove from heat and add the wine, reserved drippings, and extra stock. Whisk until smooth. Add smashed garlic and whole rosemary and cook down to reduce for about 40 minutes until glossy and slightly thickened. Adjust thickness with extra stock. Strain to remove herbs. Pour into a gravy boat or coffee thermos, if desired to keep warm.

3. Slice turkey and serve with gravy.

TIP: Dry brining your turkey is the ideal technique to maximize flavour and juiciness in your roasted turkey and doesn’t require as much room in fridge as a wet brine would. Make sure to allow at least 24 hours for the bird to brine in a roasting pan uncovered in the fridge. Do not rinse the turkey before roasting or the skin will not crisp during roasting. Kosher salt is the only variety that will brine the bird properly.