My First Turkey!


I’ve cooked a whole chicken and I’ve cooked my fair share of pork. This was my first turkey that I cooked and I think it turned out well!

The recipe is from

  1.  15- to 20-pound turkey
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc
  4. 2 oranges, sliced
  5. 1 lemon, sliced
  6. 3 bay leaves
  7. 3 to 4 sprigs thyme
  8. 3 to 4 sprigs rosemary
  9. Water


  1. Clean the turkey, removing the giblets and neck bone. Lightly pat dry and then coat with salt. Let rest while prepping the brine.
  2. Place the oranges, lemon, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary in a large bowl or bucket. Add the turkey, then cover with the wine.
  3. Fill the container with water so the turkey is submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and then make room in the fridge for the bird. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.
  4. Remove the turkey from the brine, and roast in a 350ºF oven until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Remove and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Breakdown of my experience:

I happened to have a 12 lb turkey so I edited the cooking time to what I thought was appropriate. The recipe was very easy but I happened to stuff the turkey with garlic cloves to add some more flavor. I let the turkey sit for 19 hours in the wine bath and then cooked it in my oven for roughly 3 hours. About halfway through I was concerned about the turkey drying out and added a can of chicken broth.

The pop up thermometer that came with the turkey popped out but I read online that those are unreliable. From what Tyler and I tasted it could have spent a little less time in the oven. It wasn’t as juicy as we wanted it to be but it was still good. Tyler commented that he felt like it didn’t have much flavor however, I did use a cheap wine though haha

I made gravy from the turkey bits(?) and it tasted AMAZING and I’m not kidding. This blew my mind, I definitely think that adding the chicken broth halfway through made this amazing gravy. I found an easy gravy recipe online from but edited it myself and it turned into this:

2-3 Cups Turkey drippings-LOL to turkey bits above ^

3 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

  1. Pour the turkey drippings into a large measuring cup and let it rest until the fat comes to the top.
  2. Spoon off almost all the fat.
  3. Melt butter in a pot and slowly add flour
  4. Add turkey drippings and add more flour to thicken up if needed
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste- can’t remember if I added herbs or seasoning but I most likely did.

I made instant mash potatoes and this tasted great on it and I couldn’t even tell that they were the fake potatoes. Plus it saved me a little time so I didn’t have to boil, mash, and whip potatoes.

This whole dinner was made for Tyler and I to celebrate our own little Thanksgiving before we go to my parents. It was also a special little dinner for him since it was Veteran’s Day.



I grilled up some asparagus on my mini george foreman grill and added my Ms. Dash Table Blend, olive oil, salt, and pepper. When they were almost finished grilled I splashed some lemon juice on them to finish them up.

Definitely a good meal and we had TONS of leftovers that we packed for lunch throughout the following week.