Buttermilk Spiced Turkey Recipe

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time185 minutes
Servings12 to 14


  • 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 quarts (4 l) buttermilk
  • 1 fresh turkey, 16 to 18 lb. (8 to 9 kg), neck and giblets removed
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature


To make the brine, in a saucepan bring water to a boil and add spices, bay leaves stirring occasionally until salt dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. In a large pot, stir together the cooled brine mixture, onions, garlic and buttermilk.

Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and place in a large brining bag. Carefully pour the buttermilk, brine mixture into the bag. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and place in a container large enough to hold the turkey. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours, flipping turkey once.

Remove the turkey from the brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard the excess fat. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the skin evenly with butter. Truss the turkey with kitchen twine so the legs are drawn up tightly against the breast and so that the wing tips are tucked under. This helps prevent the breast meat from overcooking. Let the turkey lay at room temperature for 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).

Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF (165°C) and continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices.

If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. After about 2 hours of total cooking time test for doneness by inserting an thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and thigh. The breast should register 165°F (74°C) and the thigh, 175°F (79°C). The total roasting time should be 3 to 4 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 12 to 14.

Tools for the Turkey – Find at Herma’s!

Roasting Laurel – Jumbo Roasting Bags – Injector – Roasting Set – Natural Turkey Stuffing Bags – Basting Brush Set – Turkey Lifters – Dreamfarm’s Brizzle (scoop, baste, drizzle, brush) – Carving Set – Thermometer

Available to order…Turkeys, Capons, Gravy, Stuffing, Cranberries and Herma’s Signature Products.