I know, you probably hate thinking about it. Hauling that big bird around, no room for it, sliding all over the counter. And I’m not offering any solutions, but more work, but work that will make it so worth while to go through it all.
I’m talking about Brining your bird! Until you have had a brined turkey you have no loved turkey. Or Chicken, or a Duck, or the succulent Goose. It gives so much juiciness that it will just astound you. If you hate breast meat because it’s dry and tasteless, well do the brine.
And, if you can afford it and have a place for it, nothing is worth more than an old used fridge in the garage! Perfect for this brining process, for forcing bulbs in the winter, and for storing soda and booze and leaving you so much room in the kitchen!
Anyway, he’s how you get started. Other than salt and water, you can adjust this to whatever you like, especially the liquids and herbs.
- 1 10-12 lb turkey
- 1-2 c salt, kosher please
- 6 sprigs or so of fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 btl of white wine (or apple juice)
- water to cover
- Dissolve the salt in some water in a pan heated. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, get a container. A 10 gallon pail works fine or a cooler is great. You can use a plastic liner if you desire (please no scented types)
- Place the turkey in the container and add the herbs, wine and salted water, and then fill to cover the bird.
- Place in fridge, add ice to the cooler, or keep in an unheated basement or garage if the temperature stays UNDER 40° continually.
- Leave for 12 hours.
- Remove and set out to drain. When it is reasonably so, place in a container and place in the fridge UNCOVERED for another 12 hours. At the end of this time, you are ready to get the bird dressed for roasting.
**Plan to get the turkey in the brine by about 7 a.m the DAY before you are roasting it. At 7 p.m, it goes in the fridge to dry out for 12 hours, and is then ready for roasting by 7 a.m on the eating day. (Bring the bird to room temperature before placing in the oven. Leaving it longer than 12 hours will do no harm. )
***See the Roasting post for cooking the bird to perfection!
- Brining (cookingislife.wordpress.com)
- Thanksgiving Countdown | Notes on Brining (dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com)