Herb Brined Creole Turkey

This recipe is from “Coastal Living” magazine. The herb here is dried thyme. This is a really easy recipe to make. Just brine the turkey in your refrigerator, then loosen the turkey’s skin, season with creole seasoning, and roast!  I’ve included Emeril Lagasse’s recipe, that his original “essence” is based on, if you don’t have a favorite creole seasoning in your cupboard.

Herb Brined Creole Turkey


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 12 cups apple cider or 12 cups apple juice
  • 1 (12 lb) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 1/4 cup creole seasoning
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


In a large stockpot, combine first 5 ingredients with 6 cups of the apple cider; bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes to completely dissolve the sugar and salt; stir in remaining apple cider and let the mixture cool.

Rinse the turkey well with cold water and place in a doubled oven bag (2 bags, one inside the other); pour cider mixture into the bag with the turkey and close securely.  Marinate the turkey, in the refrigerator, for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.  Once marinated, remove turkey from bag and rinse well with cold water (discard liquid); pat dry with paper towels.

Use your fingers to loosen the skin of the turkey being careful not to fully remove or tear; spread 1 tablespoon of the creole seasoning under the skin and another tablespoon of the seasoning in the cavity.  Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with the remaining creole seasoning; let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F, making sure to leave enough room in the oven for the turkey (I usually have to remove one oven rack).

Place the turkey on a roasting rack with the breast side up; brush with melted butter.  Roast turkey until the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees F on an internal meat thermometer, about 3 hours; loosely cover turkey with aluminum foil if it browns too quickly.  Baste turkey with pan juices occasionally during the last hour of cooking; let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Serves 20.

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