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Roast Turkey in Parts

4.67 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Brining time 1 day
Yield 8 -10 servings + 2 cups gravy
Category Main Dish
Cuisine American


A game-changing recipe for roast turkey! This Roast Turkey In Parts Recipe is an un-fussy recipe for a delicious turkey!



  • 1 (12–14 lb.) whole turkey, thawed if frozen
  • cup Morton kosher salt
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 3 cups turkey stock, chicken broth or vegetable broth + more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce


Break Down Turkey

  • Remove and reserve neck and giblets for stock. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Remove wings by flexing wing forward and running knife between wing joint and breast. Make small sweeping cuts until wing releases.
  • Loosen legs then press skin into leg crease to ensure skin covers breast. Cut alongside leg to slice through skin and expose connection between leg and breast. Repeat with second leg. Bend legs backwards. Cut up along backbone, through socket to release leg from body.
  • Cut down inside of backbone until knife hits neck bone. Pull bakbone outward until neck pops out of joint. Cut around joint to release backbone (reserve for stock).
  • Place turkey breast-side up; cut along both sides of breastbone (keel bone), then cut and pull breast meat away from keel bone (the plastic-like piece of cartilage). Remove and discard keel bone (or reserve for stock).
  • Slice into thighs and drumsticks by cutting through joints at top of drumsticks.
  • Arrange turkey pieces, skin side up, on wire rack set inside sheet pan.

Dry Brine

  • Set a wire rack in a baking sheet.
  • Combine salt, sugar, pepper, 2 tablespoons thyme, and 1 tablespoon rosemary.
  • Rub dry brine all over turkey skin. Place on wire rack in sheet pan. Transfer to refrigerator for 18–24 hours. (No longer than 24 hours.)
    raw turkey pieces covered in salt and spices on a baking sheet
  • Heat oven to 325°F with rack set in middle position. Remove turkey pieces from refrigerator 1 hour hour prior to roasting.
  • Drain off any liquid in pan. Remove wire rack then arrange shallots, celery, lemon, garlic, sage and remaining rosemary sprigs on baking sheet in an even layer.
    celery, shallots, lemon, herbs, and garlic on a baking sheet
  • Arrange turkey pieces, skin sides up, on top of aromatics. Drizzle turkey with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
    raw turkey pieces covered in salt and spices on a baking sheet
  • Roast turkey pieces until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part, but not touching bone, registers 155°F in breast and 172ºF in thighs and drumsticks; about 1¼–1½ hours.
    roasted spice-coated turkey pieces on a baking sheet with vegetables
  • Remove and transfer individual turkey pieces to a cutting board as they reach ideal internal temperature.


  • Transfer shallots and lemon wedges to a bowl. Discard celery (or reserve for serving). Reserve herbs and garlic. Pour drippings from sheet pan into a measuring cup. Add enough turkey stock or chicken broth to reach 3 cups total liquid.
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is sizzling and deep golden brown, 4 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in stock mixture, about ½ cup at a time, letting it bubble, thicken and incorporate completely between each addition, until all has been added.
  • Juice roasted lemon wedges then add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to gravy. Stir in worcestershire sauce and reserved roasted herbs and garlic.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until gravy is thickened, glossy and at desired consistency; about 8 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve set over a large liquid measuring cup. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.


  • Cut turkey breast and thighs into thick slices. Arrange on a platter. Arrange legs and wings around sliced turkey. Garnish with roasted shallots, roasted lemon wedges and fresh herbs.
  • Serve with gravy on side.



We do not recommend dry brining turkey for more than 24 hours. After 24 hours the brine will do the opposite of what it's intended for—creating tough meat. 


Serving: 1/4 pound meatCalories: 190kcalProtein: 33gFat: 5.5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1134mgSugar: 10g
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