Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Thanksgiving Recipe: How To Brine A Turkey

We all know that when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner the turkey is the star. No pressure, everyone only expects it to be beautiful, flavorful and juicy! So how do you go about doing this? Well, I'm no turkey expert but in my opinion it's all in the brining. This is a fool proof way to gaurantee plenty of flavor and only takes a few extra minutes.

Turkey Brine
1 Turkey
1 turkey sized pot or brine bag
1 cup salt
1 bundle of thyme and sage
(5ish sprigs)
2 bay leaves
1 lemon, juiced
5-7 whole garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 tbs black peppercorns
(if you don't have peppercorns, you can use pepper. Peppercorns just offer more flavor and are easier to remove)
Enough ice water to submerge the turkey

I prefer doing this in a pot but you can just as easily use a brine bag and lay it in a roasting pan.
Mix salt into about 2 cups of your ice water to allow salt to disolve.
While your waiting put the turkey in container of choice and add remaining ingredients.
Now add salt water and the rest of your ice water until you have mostly covered the turkey.
Seal your bag or put a lid over your pot. Leave it over night until you are ready to cook it. Your water will be pink as the salt draws out the blood. This is normal. You will want to pat your turkey dry before you season it for the oven.
Enjoy!

There are many ways to season your brine like including orange juice and orange slices, cranberries, brown sugar... but I like my turkey to be simple and savory so I use this recipe. A quick google search for turkey brines will bring up all sorts of fun recipes, have a look and see what sounds best to you! Regardless, the beauty of a brine is that you are allowing your seasonings to infiltrate parts of the meat you simply can't reach. Your family and friends will be raving at your beautiful and flavorful creation!



This is last years turkey after my over night brine. Delicious and beautiful, I was quite impressed! I'll definitely be using it again this year.
What special tricks do you have to get that perfect turkey?

Written By Happily Domestic Contributer: Brittney Thompson
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