Thanksgiving Honey Roasted Turkey

Chef Ray Dawson, ICC's former Director of Culinary Operations, shares his recipe for Honey-Roasted Turkey

Apple Cider Brine
Yield: 2 Gallons

1/2 Gal. Apple Cider
1 1/2 Gal. Water
1 Lb Kosher Salt
8 Oz. Sugar
4 Cinnamon Sticks
2tbsp Black Peppercorns
4 Bay Leaves
6 Points Star Anise


  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer to ensure that all of the salt and sugar are dissolved. Do not let it boil and reduce or it will be too salty.
  3. Immediately cool the brine to below 41˚F. Do not submerge item to brine into a warm brine solution.
  4. Place item in brine and brine according to the size. Large items require longer brining time and small items require less time

Honey Roasted Turkey

1 Brined Whole Turkey, Air Dried
2 Granny Smith Apples, Cut in Quarters
1 Pear, Cut in Quarters
1 Orange, Cut in Quarters
2 Shallots, Peeled and Cut in Quarters
8 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Crushed
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Smoked Paprika
Butcher Twine
3lbs Mirepoix of Onion, Carrot and Celery, roughly diced
2 Cups Butter
2 Cups Honey


  1. Preheat an oven to 375˚F.
  2. Remove the wishbone from the turkey.
  3. Season lightly the inside of the bird. Stuff the turkey with as much of the apple, pear, orange, garlic, shallot and thyme as will fit inside the bird.
  4. Season the turkey lightly with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and the smoked paprika. Rub the seasoning and olive oil all over the bird. Be sure to get into all areas under the wings and legs. Truss the turkey with the butcher twine.
  5. Place the mirepoix in a roasting pan and place the turkey on top of the mirepoix. Alternatively, a rack can be used instead of the mirepoix. The turkey should not be in direct contact with the pan or it may burn on the bottom.
  6. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for an hour at 375˚F. Lower the oven to 350˚F and roast. While Turkey is in the oven, place butter and honey in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer to combine and use to lightly baste the turkey throughout the cooking process.
  7. Roast the turkey until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part reads 165˚F. 18-20 minutes per pound is a good guideline.
  8. Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes covered loosely with foil before carving.

This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.

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