The Chew: Mario Batali’s Greek Turkey Recipe Which Has Been Brined


The Chew: Should You Brine a Turkey?

We are back to the age old question of whether you should brine a turkey or not. To settle the dispute Mario Batali and Michael Symon are each making a different turkey, one brined and other not brined, to see which is truly better.

Mario Batali decided to make a Greek turkey, which he is going to brine. Get the recipe for the turkey below.


The Chew: Mario Batali’s Greek Turkey Recipe

The Chew: Mario Batali's Greek Turkey Recipe Which Has Been Brined

The Chew had Michael Symon & Mario Batali cook an Italian turkey & a Greek turkey recipe to finally settle whether brining is a turkey is better or not.


For the Turkey:

  • 1 gallon Water
  • 1 cup Sea Salt
  • 1 bunch fresh Mint
  • 1/4 cup toasted Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 bunch of Dill
  • 2 cups Honey
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 gallon Ice Water
  • 2 cups Ouzo
  • 1 12- to 15- pound Turkey
  • 3 bulbs of roasted Garlic
  • 1 Lemon (quartered)
  • 2 cups Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped Dill
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the Gravy:

  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 cup Dill
  • 1/2 cup Turkey Drippings
  • 2 Lemons (zested; one juiced)
  • 8 Egg Yolks
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Turkey: 
  1. In a large stock pot, combine the water, sea salt, mint, coriander seeds, thyme, dill, honey and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, and stir frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
  2. When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket. Stir in the ice water and Ouzo.
  3. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight but no longer than 12 hours.
  4. Remove the turkey and carefully drain off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and tuck the roasted garlic cloves and dill in the cavity of the bird along with the lemon. Do not stuff too tight. This is more for aromatic flavoring.
  6. Mix the yogurt with the chopped dill and coriander. Season with salt and black pepper. Take your hand and loosen the skin from the breast. Gently distribute the yogurt mixture under the skin of the turkey, in the cavity, and on the turkey skin. This can be done with a piping bag or with the hands.
  7. Drizzle olive oil over the turkey and place in the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 325. Continue cooking until a thermometer reads 160 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
  8. Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
For the Gravy:
  1. In a small sauce pan, add the stock, dill, turkey drippings, and lemons. Bring to a simmer and slowly whisk in the eggs. Do not boil or the eggs will scramble. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.



  1. Mary says

    How long should it take for Mario Batelli’s Greek turkey, say a 12 lb turkey, to cook until it gets to 160 degrees. He doesn’t say.
    Thank you.

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