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Soy- and Butter-Basted Turkey

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  • Prep 60 min
  • Total 39 hr 0 min
  • Servings 12
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If you’re among the many people who say their favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the sides, we might suggest that the turkeys you’ve had haven’t quite lived up to their potential? With this recipe, the bird isn’t just the visual centerpiece of the feast, it’s also the flavorful star of the show. The secret to this truly delicious bird lies in a few techniques such as dry-brining—the lowest-effort way to ensure big flavor and tender texture—and in basting on an umami-rich butter-and-soy sauce mixture that also gives you the makings for an absolutely luscious gravy. So use this recipe well and give your turkey the treatment it deserves—we think you’ll be converted.
Updated Jul 31, 2019
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  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1 whole turkey, not prebasted (11 to 13 lb), thawed if frozen
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce


  • 1/4 cup turkey drippings (fat and juices from roasted turkey)
  • 1/4 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups Progresso™ unsalted chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1
    In small bowl, mix brown sugar, salt and pepper. Place turkey on rack in large roasting pan. If ovenproof plastic leg band is present, remove. Discard giblets and neck or reserve for another use. Using paper towels, pat dry skin and interior cavity. Rub turkey inside and out with sugar mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 24 hours. Stand up turkey to pour out any collected liquid in cavity. Pour off liquid collected in pan; return to refrigerator uncovered 12 to 24 hours longer.
  • 2
    Heat oven to 325°F. Pat skin and interior cavity dry with paper towels. Fasten neck skin to back of turkey with skewer. Fold wings across back of turkey so tips are touching.
  • 3
    Place turkey, back side down, on rack in roasting pan. In small bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of the melted butter and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce. Brush entire breast side of turkey with half of the butter mixture. Turn turkey over. Brush entire back side of turkey with remaining butter mixture. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of inside thigh and does not touch bone.
  • 4
    Roast uncovered, breast side down, 1 1/2 hours. In small bowl, mix remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Brush back side of turkey with half of the butter mixture. Using tongs and oven mitt, carefully turn turkey over. Brush turkey breast with remaining butter mixture. Roast 1 to 2 hours longer. Turkey is done when thermometer reads 165°F and drumsticks move easily when lifted or twisted. When turkey is done, place on warm platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Let stand about 15 minutes for easiest carving.
  • 5
    While turkey rests, pour drippings from roasting pan into bowl, leaving brown particles in pan. Return 1/4 cup drippings to roasting pan; discard remaining drippings. Stir in flour and pepper. Cook over medium heat 1 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Cook 1 minute longer, then stir in broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Season gravy as desired. Serve carved turkey with the gravy.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    This easy gravy takes on surprising depth from the soy and butter basting that the turkey got during roasting. It's rich and thick and simple to make. To strain or not to strain is an age-old question on Thanksgiving. When in doubt, we say strain it.
  • tip 2
    Using unsalted butter and reduced-sodium soy sauce helps keep the sodium in check while delivering on loads of umami flavor.
  • tip 3
    This recipe calls for dry brining the turkey, which just means rubbing the turkey with a seasoning mix ahead of time to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. In this recipe, you’ll begin your brining two days in advance, which isn’t really that much fuss and certainly less than trying to refrigerate a turkey that’s submerged in a wet brine for two days.
  • tip 4
    To hold your turkey, carve and loosely tent with foil. Place in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve, for up to an hour. It will release some liquid as it holds. For the prettiest presentation, place the sliced turkey on a sheet pan covered with a large sheet of foil, then transfer to the serving platter just before serving. If your serving platter is oven-safe, place the turkey on the foil on top of the platter, and place the platter in the warm oven. Then just lift the foil off, and plate quickly on the warm platter before serving. BONUS: The warm platter will keep the turkey warm longer. Just be sure to use trivets to protect your counters and tabletop.


490 Calories, 25g Total Fat, 60g Protein, 5g Total Carbohydrate, 3g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: About 6 oz Turkey and 3 Tablespoons Gravy
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 8 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 0 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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