A few years ago I made a video and post on my retired site Orange Dragonfly Blog about how to make the best drunken turkey ever. I can’t believe the amount of people who hunted me down for that recipe when the old site went dark. Well, here it is my friends… My Famous Drunken Turkey Recipe. This Keto Friendly Drunken Turkey tastes best when used with The Best Cider & Citrus Turkey Brine Recipe that is Keto Friendly. Oh, and purchase four bottles of either Bogle, Cupcake, or Clos du Bois Chardonnay wine for this recipe… two for the bird, one for the dinner table, and one for you to enjoy while you’re cooking! 🙂 Yep, two bottles for the bird! He’s drunk! Not gonna lie, some years he gets three!
First Published: 11/23/2014 Updated 10/22/2018
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This was the pic from my first year making this recipe AND my first year creating the Thanksgiving meal from start to finish. The recipe keeps getting better each year too!
Where Did My Drunken Turkey Idea Come From?
Do you ever wonder how to make an amazing and moist turkey that your tastes buds would throw a dance party for? Well, years ago I wanted to make a turkey that everyone would love and rave about. I watched the hell out of every Martha Stewart Thanksgiving special I could find. I easily watched over a 100+ hours of various chefs takes on how to make this big bird.
I took notes. Lots and lots of notes. I combined what I thought was the best of each one and went forth to try my hand at a turkey for the first time. I nailed it! Now, so can you! Seriously, this is an easy recipe but it does take some time and dedication from you. It is not a put-it-in-the-oven-and-leave-it kind of recipe. This one is made with a bit of work and a whole lot of love.
This recipe was a lot of fun to make and my family went bananas over my drunken turkey!! Super moist and full of flavor… best turkey I’ve had in my life. This post was originally created a few years back, and it’s updated each year, so be gentle on the less than stellar photos.
I know the videos might be a tad long – but they are chalked full of useful tidbits so you have a great turkey. Big shoutout to my brother Rick for recording and editing the video. You can find those at the end of the post.
These are the step-by-step instructions on how to prepare THE Holiday Drunken Turkey. Your family and friends will think you are one amazing home cook. Shhhh… the secret is that the turkey is drunk!
Step 1: Brine the Turkey
Two brines to choose from:
Always remember that a great tasting bird, no matter if it is chicken or turkey, needs to be brined first to come out moist and juicy. If you are on the Keto diet, try the Simple & Easy Keto Brining Recipe for Turkey, as it has no sugar added. This recipe is new this year as I’m on a medical-grade Keto diet because of all of my food allergies.
It’s ok to thaw the turkey out in the brine the day or two before Thanksgiving. I leave mine in the brine anywhere from 24-72 hours. Pat the turkey dry once you pull it out the brining solution. You can also brine it in a large pot or in a cooler. I live in Alaska, so it’s easy to just set it outside covered. I have to be careful though that it isn’t freezing outside! When I lived in Arizona, it went into a cooler with a bag of ice on top to keep it cold.
Drunken Turkey Ingredients
1 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 big ass turkey (seriously use whatever size is best for your family)
1 bottle white wine, I use either Bogle, Clois du Bois, or Cupcake Chardonnay
4 cups chicken or turkey stock (have 4 more cups as backup just in case)
4 carrots, halved
4 celery stalks, halved
1 parsnip, quartered
1 turnip, quartered
1.5 onions, quartered
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 apples, quartered
Drunken Turkey Directions
In a large sauce pan melt one stick of butter and then add in half of the bottle of wine, 1 tsp crushed garlic, 1.5 tsp onion powder, 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, 1 apple. Mix over low heat until combined.
Roasting Pan Prep
On the bottom of the roasting pan, place the carrots, celery, parsnips, turnips, onions, and garlic cloves. Rest the wire rack on top of the vegetables.
Prepping the Turkey
With the breast side up, bend the wing tips underneath the bird. If you are stuffing the bird with homemade stuffing do so now. If not, insert these ingredients into the cavity: Apple, half an onion, 1 garlic clove, a carrot, and a celery stalk.
Flip the bird over and tie the legs with cotton twine to the tail. Make sure it is tight, but tie it with a bow tie so it’s easy to release later. Place the turkey on the wire rack inside the roaster.
Rub soft butter on the skin all over the turkey. Even rub the butter underneath the skin on the turkey breast. Affix the neck skin to the breast using a toothpick. Cut the cheesecloth in half. Wrap the bottom of the turkey with one half of the cheesecloth and then wrap the top half with the other part of the cheesecloth. This makes it so much easier to remove later, trust me.
Once the turkey is wrapped, place the turkey breast side up, pour the basting mixture over the bird with a large spoon or a baster. Flip the bird so that the breast is facing down in the roaster and baste the bottom side of the turkey.
Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn your oven down to 350 degrees for the remainder the of time. Baste every 30 minutes or at least once an hour – set a timer! Don’t forget your turkey or it will be a sad.
Use a huge spoon or a baster to get the basting mixture all over the turkey. You will need to remake the basting solution a few times, especially when you have a large turkey and basting every 30 minutes. An extra bottle of wine, butter, and stock are not a bad idea to have on hand just in case. Don’t worry, you will use all of these drippings from the turkey to make the most amazing gravy that you have ever had!
Halfway through the cooking time, turn the turkey over so it is breast side up using turkey lifters. At this time, you will want to melt another stick of butter and add the remaining wine to the basting mixture, if you haven’t done so already.
Bake the turkey until it has an internal temperature of 180 degrees. During the last hour, you might have to put aluminum foil over the legs so that they do not burn.
Remove the turkey from the oven. Gently remove the cheesecloth so as not to remove the skin. The turkey should be a nice golden brown.
Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before you begin carving.
Whew, you did it! How does your drunken turkey taste? Let me know in the comments what you thought of this recipe.
Tidbits and Gravy Recipe
Oh and I don’t do that gravy recipe anymore. Take all the drippings off the bottom of the roaster and use an immersion blender to mix it all together – you don’t need to add anything else. Delicious. Seriously, delicious.
Here is the follow-up video…. yep, there’s two. In this one, I try not to drop the turkey, practice carving it for the first time, all while trying not to step on my parent’s dog. Good times!
Pancetta Cheddar (Crack) Mashed Potatoes – Excellent Side Dish
Want the absolute best recipe for mashed potatoes that will make everyone think you’re more amazing than you already are? This drunken turkey tastes incredible when paired with these Pancetta Cheddar (Crack) Mashed Potatoes. Don’t have pancetta? Just sub bacon.
Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding
Need a simple easy, allergen-friendly dessert? Check out my Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding, an Alternative to Pumpkin Pie.
Want an easy-to-print recipe card for my Famous Drunken Turkey Recipe? I have this one for you:
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