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X-Planations: Yonkers' Peter X. Kelly Carves Out Thanksgiving Turkey Tips

Chef Peter X. Kelly shares his recipe for Thanksgiving turkey.
Chef Peter X. Kelly shares his recipe for Thanksgiving turkey. Photo Credit: Submitted

This column is a continuing series by Chef Peter X. Kelly of Xaviars Restaurant Group which runs every Thursday.

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Roast turkey is one of those meals people look forward to all year. However, very often the results can be less than stellar. By using my method of brining the turkey first, you not only pre-season the bird, but the bird stays juicy while cooking.

You can use any large container; it's preferable to use a large plastic bucket large enough to hold the bird submerged. Leave bird to brine for up to 24 hours.

Feel free to add other aromatics to brine like garlic, thyme or even a vanilla bean to impart additional flavors to the finished bird.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Brined & Roasted Turkey ( Recipe courtesy of Peter X. Kelly, The Xaviars Restaurant Group)


  • 12-14 lbs Murray’s Turkey or any locally raised & fresh killed bird
  • 4 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 11/2 Cups Sugar
  • 11/2 Cups Kosher Salt
  • 3 ounce Dark Soy Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • 4 ounces Fresh Ginger (Peeled and Sliced ¼ inch Thick)
  • 6 Piece Star Anise
  • 6 Piece Bay Leaf


  • In a large pot or plastic container (large enough to submerge whole turkey) combine water, kosher salt, sugar, soy sauce, peppercorns, ginger, star anise and bay leaf.
  • Stir to dissolve sugar and salt.
  • Open turkey and remove giblets from cavity.
  • Submerge turkey in brine and allow turkey to brine overnight in Refrigerator (up to 24 hours)
  • Pre-heat oven to 550 degrees
  • Remove turkey from brine and rinse inside and out under cold running water.
  • Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Secure legs of turkey by tying together with kitchen string.
  • Rub outside of turkey with butter.
  • Place roasting pan with turkey in pre-heated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Lower oven temperature to 375 and continue roasting for 2 hours basting every 20 minutes.
  • Remove turkey from oven (a quick reed thermometer should read 165 degrees).
  • Allow to rest 30 minutes.
  • Carve and enjoy.

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