Thanksgiving Chef Recipe: Turkey Brine & Gravy

Pro Tip: Make the brine the day before – that way it has plenty of time to cool. Adding hot or warm brine will poach the turkey. – Executive Chef Cody DeRosett

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  • 4 qts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 lemons


  • Innards from turkey
  • 2 qt poultry stock
  • 4 oz butter
  • 4 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped sage
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste


  1. To prepare Turkey Brine: combine all ingredients in a stock pot and bring to boil. Once boiling, shut off the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain the brine and allow to cool before submerging turkey. Allow the turkey to brine for a minimum of 48 hours and no longer than 72 hours. This will give the turkey an overall better seasoning throughout as well as help to keep the bird moist during the roasting process.
  2. To prepare Turkey Gravy: Sear turkey innards in a sauce pot. This recipe works best with turkey stock (if available), however chicken stock will work as well. Take your poultry stock and deglaze the bottom of your pot with the innards in it. Keep your stock just below a simmer with the innards for about 30 minutes.
  3. In a separate pan, melt butter. After butter is melted proceed to whisk in your all-purpose flour to make a roux. Set aside until stock is ready.
  4. After your stock and innards have been below a simmer for 30 minutes strain and discard the innards.
  5. Put your stock back into the sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Once at a simme, add in the roux you made earlier and whisk until the stock thickens. Once your stock is to the gravy consistency you want (the longer you keep the stock to a simmer the thicker it will get), turn off the heat. Store for later or use immediately.
  6. When you are ready to serve, season with kosher salt, lemon juice, and the herbs. Always add herbs and lemon juice last for the freshest taste. Finally, pour gravy on everything!