The Perfect Roast Turkey


The Turkey. It’s the prize of the table, no need for a centerpiece with this bird, for if it’s cooked right its glory is more than regal enough to make your table glow. This year we are getting our own bird and I couldn’t be more excited to try a wild Oregon bird. Normally I pour over the local stores and their turkey providers, weighing the pros and cons of heritage birds, organic birds, and trying my hardest to find a free range bird that lived a healthy life before it lands on my table. This year my husband will be hunting for a perfect wild bird to grace our table and I am over the moon!



In the spirit of the season direct from Marcella Rose’s kitchen I am offering My Cooking Spot readers my classic recipe for the Perfect Roast Turkey. I have included a recipe for brining as I feel it makes a luscious bird full of juicy goodness but you can skip ahead to the roasting directions for your bird if you want to by-pass the 24-hour brining process.

I am using my great grandmother’s recipe for the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey. She would soak cheesecloth in wine and butter and drape it over her bird; this allows the breasts to retain more flavor and moisture as it cooks. Simply remove and discard the cloth for the final hour of cooking and a perfectly brown turkey will be your reward.



I hope this blog breaks the Thanksgiving bird down for any novice to make a Turkey the whole table will enjoy.

You will need (for 18- 20 pound Turkey)

For the brine:
28 cups water
1 1/2 cups coarse salt
8 bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 fresh whole turkey – Don’t forget to remove neck and giblets to make your gravy stock,
1 purple onion, thinly sliced
3 oranges juiced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch fresh thyme
5-gallon brining container – stockpot, bucket, or any other large container
Large brining or oven-roasting bag



For roasting your turkey:

2 large yellow onions quartered
2 large apples quartered
4 teaspoons each salt and pepper
2 cups butter melted
Bunch of sage
Bunch of rosemary
Bunch of thyme
Bunch of parsley
1 bottle dry white wine

How to:

For the brine
1. At least 24 hours before you need to roast your turkey bring 4 cups of water to boil and dissolve salt, adding bay leaves and spices to simmer until aromatic, about 7 minutes.
2. As the water cools, line your bucket, stockpot or container with your brining bag
3. Place your fully thawed bird in the bad adding the rest of water and other ingredients and your cooled spice mixture.
4. Close the bag and refrigerate for 24 hours – if the turkey floats, weigh it down with a small cast iron pan or plate.
5. Remove bird 1 hour before cooking and pat dry









To roast your turkey
1. Look up how long to roast your turkey based on it’s weight for our 18-20 pounds it’s about 3 hours
2. Preheat your oven to 425
3. Melt your butter and mix with your wine
4. Let cheesecloth soak in mixture as you prepare your bird
5. Brush half some of the butter and wine into the cavity
6. Sprinkle the cavity with half the salt and pepper
7. Stuff turkey with apples, herbs and onions
8. Secure the neck flap with toothpicks
9. Tuck the wings under the bird as you place it in the roasting rack of your roasting pan
10. Loosely tie the legs together in a bow with cotton twine
11. Rub the bird with the rest of the butter and salt and pepper
12. Place the turkey legs first into the oven for 30 mins
13. Lower the temp to 350 and baste your turkey with the butter and wine mixture
14. Continue to cook and basting every 30 minutes with your butter and wine mixture
15. Remove pan drippings as they collect and reserve for your gravy
16. When 1-hour remains for your bird, remove the cheesecloth and gently baste breast
17. Cook until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh (avoiding the bone) reads 165
18. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving

With Thanks!

Marcella Rose



Be sure to check out the rest of the fabulous recipes for Blogsgiving and follow along with #blogsgivingdinner!


Pomegranate & Goat Cheese Salad from Feast + West
Persimmon & Pear Salad from Wit Wisdom and Food
Roasted Butternut Squash & Gorgonzola Salad from Hello Little Home

Roasted Turducken from The Speckled Palate
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Orange-Cranberry Reduction from Home at Six
Beer Brined Turkey with Bacon Gravy from Cake ‘n’ Knife

Side Dishes

Stovetop Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing from Wetherills Say I Do
Turkey, Apple & Sweet Potato Pot Pies from Love & Flour
Creamy Pumpkin Apple Pasta from My Cooking Spot
Mushroom Spinach Farro from Think Fruitful
Bacon and Cornbread Stuffing from Chez CateyLou
Sweet Potato Crunch from I Cook. I Eat. It’s Life.
Blue Cheese & Bacon Mashed Potatoes from A Savory Feast
Butternut Squash Grits from Homespun Seasonal Living

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings from Twin Stripe

Be sure to check out the My Cooking Spot specific posts:
Maple Pecan Baked Brie
Creamy Pumpkin Apple Pasta

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Marcella Rose began cooking early, learning from her self-taught mom who prepared brilliant meals nightly. At thirteen, cooking on a Ranch, she learned how to get creative in the kitchen. With an eye for the beautiful, a growing palate, and keen organizing skills she soon began hosting parties and catering events. Moving to New York she was graced to have worked with some of the best interior designers in the city. Taking these skills to the Internet with Marcella Rose’s she shares her passion and innovation hoping to inspire the modern woman.

Latest posts by Marcella Rose (see all)


  1. What a stunning turkey! And beautiful photographs, Marcella.

  2. I’ve never seen a turkey made like this, Marcella, and the next time I’m hosting a Thanksgiving feast (probably next year!), I’m totally trying out your grandma’s recipe. It sounds super easy but also super delicious… and holy cow, is that bird beautiful!

    I’m excited for you and your hubby to have a wild turkey at your table this Thanksgiving! What fun!

  3. Oh man, cheesecloth! That is brilliant! Love those fresh herb bouquets too. I’ve only made roast turkey once and will definitely keep this recipe in mind the next time!

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