I’m not sure the internet needs another turkey recipe, but here we are.
This one is just too good not to share.
Now for the dramatic part: this turkey is, hands down, the juiciest, moistest piece of meat I have ever eaten. EVER. Really. Thanks to the brining process and delicious truffle butter rub. Talk about holiday decadence.
Prior to a few years ago, the idea of roasting a turkey scared the hell out of me. I found it incredibly intimidating. I was thankful that I had never been asked to host Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until Dan and I were married and in our home that we hosted Thanksgiving.
And boy oh boy, what a conquest that was. I served 15 people Thanksgiving dinner, and somehow, by some miracle, managed to pull it off without any major issues! Turkey included! My mom totally helped me pull it off, but still! It felt like such an accomplishment. Plus, getting to hold onto the majority of the leftovers was glorious. The perks of hosting!
Over the years, I’ve made many a turkey. I often do some flavor twists and tweaks each year, but a few things stay the same. First up, the brine. I used to do a wet brine, but that started turning into a hassle because I had a hard time finding a pot big enough to accommodate a large turkey and all the liquid brine.
So, a couple years ago, I started using a dry brine on my turkeys. It’s SO much easier!
All you do is mix together sugar and kosher salt and rub it all over a fully defrosted turkey – inside and out. Then, you let the turkey sit uncovered in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Yes, dedicating that much fridge space can be tricky, but the same would be true for the giant pot of wet brine. And to me, brining just isn’t optional. It is a total game changer when it comes to juicy turkey. I am never going back.
The one thing about brining is that it does require a little forethought and planning. You need to have your bird completely defrosted before brining can begin, which can take a couple days depending on the size of your turkey. The actual brining process can take up to a full day, so plan accordingly! The results are SO WORTH IT.
Once I had my brine recipe perfected, I needed to figure out how I wanted the turkey to be flavored and what components I wanted in the gravy. It couldn’t just be standard turkey and gravy after all. I’m always looking to switch things up!
I went with a traditional butter rub for the turkey itself and turned up the volume with one ingredient: truffle. It added a luxurious element to the meal without being overpowering in any way. It was a subtle but delish addition to a traditional roast turkey.
The butter rub has tons of traditional flavors too. In addition to the truffle butter, we have garlic, herbs like fresh sage and thyme, and lemon. It gets rubbed all over the brined turkey just before it goes in the oven. Then, I roast the turkey with white wine poured into the bottom of the pan. Not only does it keep the moisture trend going, it imparts amazing flavor.
Once the turkey is done roasting, it’s gravy time. I like to use the turkey pan drippings for my gravy, but I do like to strain them out first. That way, our gravy has all the awesome flavor of butter, turkey, and wine but will still be super smooth.
Gravy making is pretty simple, in my opinion. I think it’s gotten a bad rep as being overly complicated. I keep things easy. To the turkey drippings, I add a little more white wine for flavor. Then, I whisk together turkey (or chicken) stock and flour until completely smooth. We want ZERO lumps of flour in this mixture.
It gets poured into the drippings and whisked until the gravy is smooth, thick, and glossy.
I echo the truffle from the turkey in the gravy. A little more truffle butter and a dash of truffle oil get whisked in at the end. It came out absolutely fabulous.
The gravy had the tang of white wine and the earthiness of truffle running through it, but it still tasted like turkey gravy. Which is exactly what I wanted. Tradition with a tiny twist. I have a lot of traditionalists in my family, and I wasn’t interested in upsetting anyone.
This turned out to be our perfect Thanksgiving turkey. And I’m not kidding when I tell you that this turkey was one of the juiciest, tender roasts I’ve ever had. It practically sliced with a fork.
I love developing recipes for the big meal. Some things I love to keep 100% traditional, like my mom’s stuffing, but other areas of the meal are so fun to experiment with!
This experiment turned out incredibly, and I hope you’ll try it!Print
This Turkey with White Wine & Truffle Gravy is a twist on tradition that sings with earthy flavor. Turkey is dry-brined for 24 hours, rubbed down with a truffle butter spread, and then roasted to perfection. The gravy is flavored with more truffle and white wine for brightness. It is a delicious spin on the classic!
For the Brine:
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 (11-lb) whole turkey, completely defrosted
For the Turkey:
3 tablespoons softened truffle butter (this is my favorite)
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (I do a mix of sage and thyme)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
For the Gravy:
- 1/2 cup of the pan drippings, solids strained and discarded
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock (I recommend low sodium for this)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons truffle butter
- 1 teaspoon truffle oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Brine:
- First, make sure your turkey is completely thawed – this can take a few days, so plan accordingly. The idea is to brine the turkey for at least 24 hours. I usually begin thawing my turkey 3 days before Thanksgiving, and I brine it the entire 24 hours beforehand (so, typically starting on Wednesday morning). To brine a turkey, it is also important to keep in mind the fridge space required.
- At least 24 hours before you plan to roast your turkey, pat it completely dry with paper towels and place it on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. I like to line the baking sheet with a thick layer of paper towels as well, as a lot of moisture will drip off the turkey as it brines.
- Combine the salt and sugar in a small bowl and rub it all over the turkey, making sure to sprinkle some inside the cavity and in between the skin and the breast meat.
- Place the turkey in the fridge completely uncovered. I recommend brining for at least 24 hours, but you can leave it in the fridge for up to 2 days, if your schedule and fridge space permits.
For the Turkey:
- One hour before you are ready to roast the turkey, remove it from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature. Generally speaking, I do this roughly 3-3.5 hours before I plan to serve dinner. This allows adequate time for it to sit at room temperature, roast until done, and then rest after cooking.
- There is no need to rinse the brine off the turkey. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F.
- In a small bowl, combine the truffle butter, garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste.
- Loosen the skin from the breast meat gently and spread a few tablespoons of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly all over the skin. Sprinkle the outside with more salt and pepper.
- Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Place the turkey in the oven and immediately decrease the temperature to 325°F. The high temperature will help to crisp and brown the skin, but you don’t want to roast the meat at that high of a temperature for the whole time.
- Roast the turkey for 2-2.5 hours, or until the skin is crisped and brown and the internal temperature registers 160°F when inserted into the thickest areas of the breast (the temperature will increase to 165°F while the turkey is resting).
- When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
For the Gravy:
- Strain the pan drippings and discard the solids. Add ½ cup of the strained pan drippings, along with the white wine, to a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.
- In a mason jar, combine the stock and flour. Cover the jar and shake vigorously until the flour is completely dissolved in the stock.
- Once the drippings come up to a simmer in the pan, slowly stream in the stock mixture, whisking constantly so no lumps form.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the gravy is thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the truffle butter and truffle oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Keep the gravy warm until you are ready to serve. If it gets too thick, you can thin it by adding a splash of stock or water and whisking it vigorously to incorporate.
- This recipe will work with any size turkey. If using a smaller turkey, cut the brine salt-sugar proportions in about half. If using a larger turkey, increase the proportions by about half for each 5 lbs (for example, for a 16-lb turkey, use 3 tablespoons kosher salt and 1½ tablespoons sugar). Cooking time will vary, of course, depending on the size of your turkey. The general rule of thumb is 13 minutes per pound.
- This is where I buy my truffle butter and oil. The quality is always fantastic.
- Prep Time: 24 hours brining time
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: turkey
Keywords: thanksgiving turkey recipe, thanksgiving turkey with truffle gravy, truffle turkey gravy, truffle and white wine turkey gravy, thanksgiving gravy with a twist