Thanksgiving With Kouzounas Kitchen

Happy Thanksgiving from Kouzounas Kitchen to you and your family.

Time to bring out the famous Turkey Recipe I did this year for Thanksgiving!!

Did you see my last post about “Brine or not brine. I would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

Soo brine it is all!! Let’s get to the cooking.

Keep in mind this Citrus Turkey Recipe is not just for turkey. It can be for chicken, pork, or even steak. Maybe a Christmas recipe?? 😉⤴️⤴️

|Citrus Turkey Brine Recipe|

Keep in mind that the cavity is filled with FENNEL, APPLES, AND ORANGES. 🙂


My dad plated the turkey above, and it was hard to get a good photo as everyone was destroying the turkey lol. (You can definitely tell the turkey is moist though.)
A few of my friends told me to follow the Pioneer Woman for her awesome citrus brine and I had a look, and added my own special touch to the original recipe. You can find the original recipe here.


  • 3 cups fresh apple juice or apple cider juice
  • 1 -23 pound turkey (You can use a turkey anywhere from 15-23 pounds for this.)
  • 2 Gallons cold water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme/ Rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons oregano
  • 3 tablespoons coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup sea salt, fine grind
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pink peppercorn
  • 2 apples chopped
  • 3 oranges peeled, and chopped (Set peel aside)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot, over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, stir all ingredients together, and remove from heat.  Set aside and let cool.
  2. In this step I did not use a brining bag. I didn’t have one, so I used a bucket lined with a large plastic garbage bag. (I know fancy right?!) Do keep in mind, once your turkey and brine are in the bucket, make sure your bucket is sturdy enough to hold everything.
  3. Add your turkey to the bucket, and pour cool brine over the top. Keep the orange peel, and apple slices in the brine. Adds a lovely flavor to the turkey.
  4. I brine my turkey for 2 days, but I recommend 1 day if you can hold the turkey in your fridge that long. (You can do up to 2 days, but that’s if you have time.)
  5. Let your turkey brine on one full side for about 8 hours, then flip over and brine the other side for 8 hours.
  6. Once your ready to roast your turkey, remove turkey from brine. Rinse off your turkey in cool running water for 10 minutes. This process cleans off the salt, and I highly suggest this.
  7. I did NOT fill my turkey with stuffing. I didn’t want my stuffing to be salty from the drippings, so instead I added fresh apple, orange, and fennel to the cavity of the turkey. (Keep in mind that the brine has salt, so if you stuff your turkey, then do not add too much salt to your stuffing.)
  8. Now its time to cook your turkey. According to the turkey instructions, follow the baking time. I baked my turkey at 325 degrees for 6.5 hours.
  9. Make sure to use an aluminum tent for your turkey, to prevent the top from burning. You want a nice golden brown color all over.
  10. Every two hours, I actually brushed butter and olive oil over the top of my turkey. It adds a nice flavor, and the color is perfect.  (A secret I am sharing with you all. The last hour the turkey was roasting, I used an orange marmalade to brush over the turkey. The final results… AMAZING!!.)


Must Have Thanksgiving Desserts

Okay can I say, PUMPKIN PIE, way over rated!! I was not going to make another pumpkin pie, as I wanted something that everyone would be happy with. In fact I asked my brother-in-law what dessert I should do, and he said banana cream pie with a smile. I said banana cream pie it is. 🙂 This year I decided to use two recipes that my friends recommended and of course I added my special touch to them. Below you will find 2 recipes from Simply Recipes & Taste Of Home. I am adding in my recommendations as to how to flavor the recipes up.



Greek Apple Pie Recipe

  •  Replace sour cream with 1 cup Greek yogurt.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add in 1 teaspoon of orange zest.

Banana Cream Pie Recipe

  • Use pink Himalayan sea salt instead of regular salt.
  • If you like, you can replace 2 % milk for coconut milk.
  • I actually used 4 bananas, so you can over lay each row with bananas.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring to the whipped cream.


I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as we did, and let me know if you do try out any of these yummy recipes.


Kouzounas Kitchen




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