Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Brine

Last year, I brined my turkey for the first time, and I will do it forever now! Brining makes the turkey extraordinarily tender and juicy and flavorful. Again, I have Pioneer Woman to thank for her brining recipe.
  • 3 cups Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
  • 2 gallons Cold Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-½ cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
  • 5 whole Bay Leaves
  • Peel Of Three Large Oranges

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.

Allow to cool completely, (this took a LOT longer than I expected!) then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours. (I have a large pot that is no longer safe for cooking with (I burned the bottom badly.) I use this to brine my turkey in, and it's a LOT simpler than a bag, which I've also tried. I've also heard of people using coolers, though I've never tried this myself.)

When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside.

Discard brine. Remove turkey from clean water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method. (I like to put mine in an oven bag in the oven.)

Pioneer Woman has more details about brining here and here.

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