Brining is a wonderfully easy technique that adds moisture and flavor to poultry and meat. And, no, it won’t make your bird too salty. Below is my favorite brine recipe, along with the easy how-to steps. Once you try this technique, you’ll be brining your turkey every time you’re ready to cook one.
1 oz. fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 Tbs. allspice berries
1 Tbs. peppercorns
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 oranges, each cut in half
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
To prepare brine: Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil; whisk until sugar and salt are completely dissolved, then remove pan from heat and let cool.
Place thawed, rinsed turkey (I usually get a 15-18 lb. bird) into a large, chest cooler (cooler lid must close) and pour in brine, adding enough water to brine to completely submerge turkey. Add ice to water to keep it cold, then, to keep turkey submerged in the brine, place a large bag of ice on top of the turkey.
Let turkey rest in the brine for 12-16 hours, keeping it cool at all times, adding ice to the cooler as needed. If your bird is really big, say 22-28 lbs., let it brine even upwards of 24 hours.
Remove turkey from the brine and rinse well, both inside and out. Roast turkey using your preferred recipe – here’s my favorite.
**Note: If you are using the drippings from a brined bird for making gravy, be sure you taste the gravy before adding ANY seasonings – the drippings from a brined bird can sometimes be a bit salty.
Now You’re Cookin’,