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The Paleo Secret Thanksgiving: The Turkey Bird

November 17th, 2012
The Paleo Secret Thanksgiving: The Turkey Bird

The key to making it nice and moist is to try bringing the turkey.

We are having 2 Thanksgivings this year! We had one last weekend with my folks and cooked up a nice, juicy bird that we got from a local farm (Smith & Smith Farm).  It was delicious!

Kitchen tools

  • cooler
  • roasting pan
  • baster
  • thermometer
  • kitchen twine


  • 1  15 lb pasture raised turkey bird

For the brine:

  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme, sage
  • kosher salt ( 1 1/2 to 2 cups per/# of gallons used to submerge bird, which may vary depending on container)

For cavity of the bird:

  • 1 carrot coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 small orange coarsely chopped
  • 1 small apple coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • fresh sage (a couple sprigs)
  • fresh rosemary (a couple sprigs)
  • fresh thyme (a couple sprigs)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 cups organic white wine
  • 2 cups bone broth

For herb butter:

  • 1/2 cup organic whole butter (softened)
  • 2 Tbsp sage
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 2 garlic gloves

Now let’s get started…

We used a cooler to brine the turkey and put an ice pack on the bottom to keep it cool. You want to brine the turkey for as many hours as there are pounds of turkey. So, for us we had a 15 lb turkey so we brined it for 15 hours. The night before the Thanksgiving day you take out the turkey (don’t forget to thaw it out) and remove the insides. You are going to put the turkey in the cooler and make sure it is submerged in the brine. First, we need to get the brine prepared. It is recommended to dissolve the salt in the water first. We started with about 3 gallons of water and dissolved the salt and placed it in the cooler. It is important to get the right amount of salt. You will need to keep track of how many gallons you use because you want to mix in 1 1/2 to 2 cups of kosher salt or 1 cup of table salt per 1 gallon of water. Once water is in the cooler and salt is dissolved, add the rest of the brine ingredients. Next add the turkey bird. Make sure water is covering the top of it. If it is not, add more water with salt dissolved into it according to the ratio. Now go to bed and it will be waiting for you in the morning!


The Turkey Bird

The Paleo Secret Thanksgiving: The Turkey Bird

Time to roast!

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Take the turkey out of the cooler and pat dry. Place breast side up on roasting pan.

2) Pour wine and bone broth in the roasting pan under the turkey.

3) Make herb butter: In a food processor, pulse sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic until finely chopped. Add softened butter and pulse until blended.

4) Use the herb butter to rub underneath the turkey skin. Work from cavity end of the turkey and place fingers gently under the skin and loosen it away from the breast (take off your rings first). Using your fingers or a spatula rub butter mixture under the skin to evenly distribute. Save some to rub all over the outside of the bird.

5) Sprinkle about a 1 1/2 Tbsp of salt on the outside of the turkey and inside the cavity.

6) Place all herbs, carrot, celery, onion, orange, apple and garlic inside the cavity. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together and tuck wings underneath the body.

7) Place turkey in the oven. We checked it every 45 minutes and basted it with pan juices. If it gets too brown, cover it loosely with foil. Roast until meat thermometer reaches 170 deg for thigh temp and 160 degrees for breast temp.

8) Place turkey on a large platter to serve. You can use serve with pan juices or use pan juices to make a gravy using arrowroot powder to thicken it a bit. Carve and enjoy!!

The Turkey Bird

The Paleo Secret Thanksgiving: The Turkey Bird

Happy Thanksgiving!!

If you have a great turkey recipe you love, please post for all of us to see!!

Recipe by Brenda Walding DPT, FDN and her mom 🙂
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The Paleo Secret Thanksgiving: The Turkey Bird
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2 Responses

  1. ron neel says:

    maybe it’s just a regional thing but most in this part of Oregon gag at the thought of rosemary in anything and sage is iffy !

  2. Odile says:

    This recipe looks great. I’m wondering do you do anything with the veggies in the brine? What is the point of putting veggies in the brine? It seems unlikely that they would flavor the turkey if the water is cold. Am I missing something? I’d love to understand this better.

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