Buttermilk-Marinated Turkey
Photo: Rob Howard
Note: Brining or roasting bags are available in grocery stores near the plastic wrap.
Serves 8 to 10


  • 3 quarts buttermilk, divided
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 (6") piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey, giblets removed


Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 1/2 hours, plus 24 hours for marinating

In a blender, puree until smooth 2 cups buttermilk, soy sauce, honey, salt, ginger, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Place turkey in a brining or roasting bag, pour in contents of blender and remaining 21/2 quarts buttermilk, and tightly tie bag closed. Carefully shake and turn bag to coat turkey. Place in a large bowl or pan and refrigerate 24 hours, turning halfway through.

Preheat oven to 350°. Remove turkey from marinade, draining it well; discard marinade. In a large roasting pan, arrange turkey breast side up, tie legs together with butcher's twine, and tuck wing tips under the breast. Roast 30 minutes, then reduce oven to 325°. Continue roasting, basting occasionally, until skin is deep golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°, about 3 1/2 hours. (If bird begins to get too dark, tent with foil.)

Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes. Carve and serve with pan juices.

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