You Should Make a Buttermilk-Brined Turkey for Thanksgiving

Samin Nosrat has finally adapted her famous roast chicken recipe to turkey

Just imagine how much better this would taste brined in buttermilk.(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
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Turkey is a holiday classic, but let’s face it: the bird can be a little boring. Fortunately, if you’re looking for a new way to jazz up your turkey this Thanksgiving, you’re in luck: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat author Samin Nosrat has adapted her famous buttermilk-brined roast chicken recipe for the larger fowl with a new recipe in the New York Times.

“Three years ago, I published a recipe for three-ingredient, buttermilk-brined roast chicken in my book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,” Nosrat writes. “It’s now among the most beloved of my recipes, and every November, people reach out to ask if they can apply the technique to their holiday turkey. I’ve always answered hesitantly — not having tested it, I wasn’t sure that the skin wouldn’t grow too dark with the longer cooking time, or that the seasoning would be balanced. This year, I figured it was time to try it out for myself.”

She made a few major changes to the recipe to account for the fact that a turkey is a much larger bird. Instead of one night in the buttermilk brine like the chicken, the turkey needs to spend a full 48 hours in it to ensure that the meat is tender and properly seasoned. Nosrat also spatchcocks the turkey — removing its backbone and flattening it out — in order to reduce its cooking time.

You can watch an instructional video from Nosrat below and read the full buttermilk-brined turkey recipe here.


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