Until I was made aware of brining my Thanksgiving day turkey many years ago, I suffered from that dried out , some what inedible piece of Turkey meat.
A good 2 day brine is the secret to success for a flavorful, moist turkey from breast to legs. The leftovers are amazing as well, as this meat is full of so much moisture it never dries out.
A good Brine recipe is :
- 2 cups apple cider DO NOT use apple cider vinegar
- 2 gallons cold water
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 5 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
- 2 oranges thinly sliced
- 2 lemons thinly sliced
- 5 rosemary sprigs
- 3 bay leaves
Place the ingredients into a pan and bring them all to a nice simmer, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
My method from here is rather unconventional, however I have done it for years, and never had any issues, other than once the dogs got wind of what i was up to and were circling the cooler that was sitting in the kitchen like a pride of lions around a fresh kill. I learned from this, now all canine get to spend some quality time outside during the Turkey Brine preparation.
Get out your best cooler, clean it out, place a large new trash bag into the cooler. Put all the dogs and cats outside, even though the cats aren’t really a big problem, I would hate for one of them to jump into the turkey bag, you can imagined what could happen next.
Open the trash bag and place the turkey into is, covering it with the cool brine mixture and cold water to submerge.
Put the lid on the cooler, let the dogs and cats back in.
You will need to put the cooler into the garage, or in another cold spot , such as back porch, front porch .
The Turkey needs to stay cold during the brining, that’s why I like when we get a cold snap during the holiday I can use my back porch as a giant refrigerator.
If this is not feasible you will need to put the turkey in the brine bag into the refrigerator. You may also brine your Turkey in the large roasting pan , the secret is to make sure the bird is covered with liquid.
- Make sure you use kosher salt and do not substitute any other type of salt. Table salt is denser than kosher salt and doesn’t measure the same way.
- Be sure to use apple cider the drink, do NOT use apple cider vinegar! If you can’t find apple cider, apple juice will work fine.
- You want to make sure you put your turkey into a cool brine; never put a turkey in a hot or warm brine.
- Pat your turkey dry before you roast it to ensure crispy skin.