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Baked Turkey with Tarragon Orange Sauce
Tested by Imperial Sugar
Chef Eddy Recipe
Baked Turkey with Tarragon Orange Sauce
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Tarragon may be one of the most under used herbs in the kitchen, which is a shame considering its delicate, aromatic anise flavor is the perfect compliment to poultry, fish, and vegetables. Brining the turkey prior to baking ensures a moist and tender bird. 

Prep time
Bake/Cook time
2:30 to 3:00
Plan for

Brine 10-16 hours

13-15 pound turkey
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Baked Turkey with Tarragon Orange Sauce
Light Brown Sugar
Prep time :
Bake/Cook time :
2:30 to 3:00
Plan For

Brine 10-16 hours

Yield :
13-15 pound turkey



  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar
  • 12 average size bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon coarse grind black pepper
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • Parsley stems from one bunch
  • 16 cups ice cold water
  • 1 turkey (13-15 pounds)

Herb Butter

  • 1 stick butter, soft
  • 5 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Inside Turkey

  • 4 medium sized shallots
  • 1 apple
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 tarragon sprigs
  • 3 parsley sprigs

Orange Tarragon Sauce


  1. For brine: Boil first listed water, salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, oregano black pepper, thyme, and parsley stems. Let cool completely and then add second listed cold water.
  2. Remove innards of turkey and place breast side down in a large stockpot, brining bag or bucket. (Do not use a huge pot as it will have to fit into refrigerator.) Pour brining liquid over turkey to completely submerge bird. Place in the refrigerator overnight or up to 10-16 hours.
  3. Next day prepare the herb butter - remove leaves from tarragon and retain stems and less desired leaves to be stuffed inside turkey later. Combine all herbs and seasoning with butter and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven at 450°F and remove turkey from brine. Place in a roasting pan or roasting rack. Discard brine and pat bird dry with paper towels.
  5. Squeeze your hand underneath skin of turkey and place a liberal amount of herb butter underneath skin. (At first it will be a bit uncomfortable but it is not hard to do.) Repeat until all herb butter is used. 
  6. Cut shallots in rings, cut unpeeled apple in 12 slices, slice carrots in rings and place along with remaining herbs inside turkey.
  7. Cross turkey legs together and tie with butcher twine. Tuck wings underneath turkey. Oil outside skin of turkey liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with additional ground black pepper and garlic powder and place in oven. 
  8. Bake at 450°F for 30 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until the thickest part of the bird has reached 162°F, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. 
  9. Carve turkey and serve with Orange Tarragon Sauce. 


Tip: Brining turkey ensures a tender and juicy meat. Remember that a purchased frozen turkey takes several days to defrost in the refrigerator before it is ready to be used. 

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