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sliced turkey breast, drumsticks and thighs on a platter

Dutch Oven Turkey

Dutch oven turkey: the easiest, quickest way of roasting a whole turkey. Incredibly moist and flavorful meat, crispy skin, everything you could wish for in a turkey.
Course Poultry
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 877kcal
Author Adina


  • 1 turkey 4 – 5 kg/ 9 -11 lbs (Note 1)

Dry brine:

  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt Note 2
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Butter mixture:
  • cup unsalted butter 75 g, very soft
  • 4 sage leaves Note 3
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • a few grindings of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple
  • 3-4 sage leaves


  • 2 ¾ cups turkey or chicken stock 650 ml
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • a few tablespoons cold water
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark soy sauce optional


Thaw turkey:

  • In the refrigerator, it will take between 2 and 3 days for a turkey of this size. I always dry brine it when it is partially thawed, after 1 ½ day in the fridge.

Dry rub:

  • Pat the turkey dry inside and outside with kitchen paper. There is no need to wash it.
  • Mix rub: In a small bowl, mix together the salt, thyme, rosemary, paprika, and pepper.
  • Rub the turkey inside and out with it. Massage it well and don't forget to do it under the wings as well.
  • Refrigerate: Cut 3 large pieces of cling film/plastic wrap. Use them to wrap the bird very well. Make sure it is completely wrapped. Place in a roasting tin (or large bowl/casserole dish) and refrigerate for 24 hours and up to 48.

Prepare and stuff:

  • Bring to room temperature: Remove from the fridge and unwrap about 1 hour before roasting. Pat it dry with kitchen paper.
  • Start preheating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit about ½ hour before roasting.
  • Combine the very soft butter, very finely chopped sage, nutmeg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set 2 heaped teaspoons of the mixture aside. Smear inside the cavity of the bird with 1 heaped teaspoon of the butter.
  • Smear turkey: Carefully loosen the breast skin by sliding your fingers under it and gently lifting it. Thoroughly spread the remaining butter under the skin.
    Use the butter you set aside to brush the bird on the upper side as well. There is no need to butter it on the underside.
  • Stuff with the quartered onions, apples, and sage leaves. Bind the legs with kitchen twine. Place the bird into the Dutch oven.
  • Heat the stock in a saucepan. Carefully pour the liquid around the turkey, but not on top.
  • Roast: Cover with the lid and place the pot in the oven. Roast for 1 hour.
  • Rest for 30 minutes.


  • Make gravy: After removing the bird, place the Dutch oven with the cookign liquid on the stovetop.
  • Thicken gravy: In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with some cold water, enough to make a thick yet pourable paste. Slowly, pour the slurry into the stock while whisking continuously. Let bubble for 1 minute until thickened. You might not need to use all the slurry, just enough to thicken the gravy to your liking.
  • Adjust: If you wish to have a brown gravy, stir 1-2 tablespoons dark soy sauce into the gravy. There is no need to season the gravy.
  • Carve: Once the turkey has rested for 30 minutes, carve (Note 5) and serve.


  1. My turkey weighed exactly 4 kg/ 9 lbs, but a 5 kg/ 11 lbs would have also fit into the Dutch oven. I have a very large Dutch oven; check beforehand to see how big a bird fits inside. If your bird is larger than 4 kg, adjust the cooking time accordingly. The best way of ensuring that the turkey is safely cooked (without overcooking) is to use a meat thermometer (Amazon affiliate link opens in a new tab).
  2. I always use fine sea salt (or Kosher salt). If using table salt, adjust the quantity; it is usually more potent than sea salt.
  3. Sage has a fantastic flavor, but it can be replaced with other herbs. For example, try fresh rosemary or even parsley.
  4. The roasting time might seem too short if you are used to roasting a turkey for hours and hours. However, the brining and the Dutch oven helps reduce the cooking time.
  5. How to carve:
  • Use a large sharp chef's knife.
  • Place a kitchen towel on the working surface and a large cutting board on top. The towel will help stabilize the board.
  • Cut the thighs at the joint. Next, separate the drumsticks from the thighs by cutting at the joint.
  • Carve down the breast bone of each breast to remove the breasts from the bones. Slice the breasts thickly.
  • Remove the wings by cutting at the joint.
  • You can serve the thighs whole or slice off the meat as well.
  • Pick all larger meat pieces still hanging on the bones.
  • Use the carcass (and the neck and gizzards) to make stock.


Serving: 1/10 of the dish | Calories: 877kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 119g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 463mg | Sodium: 2014mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g