Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Brined Turkey, 2013

Written By: Chris - Dec• 16•13

We enjoyed a moist and delicious turkey for Thanksgiving.  We ended up with plenty of extra for the freezer, so we’ll be happy over the next few months when we want something easy to grab!  I prefer to brine our bird because the process of brining increases the moisture holding capacity of meat, which results in a much more moist product once it is cooked.  The great things about brining is that there are very few rules and you can season yours with what you have on hand.  Most start with water and salt and soaking the turkey overnight in the solution ensures moist results.  When you add aromatics to the brine, the resulting roast is also infused with a subtle character all its own.

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Ingredients:

1 Fresh Whole Turkey, patted dry, neck and giblets and liver reserved for stock, and/or stuffing
Makes enough brine for one 18- to 20-pound turkey

6 to 8 quarts Water
1 Cups Coarse Kosher Salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar in the Raw
2 large Carrots, chopped
2 large Celery Stocks & Heart, choppedd
1 Small Onion, chopped
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme. leaves & stems
5-6 Sprigs of Fresh Oregano, leaves & stems
3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary, leaves & stems
4 Garlic Cloves, smashed
1/3 Cup Fresh, Sage
2 Tablespoons Coriander, ground
2 Tablespoons, Fresh Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon, Fresh Black Peppercorns

The day before you plan on cooking the turkey, remove the innards and rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water.

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Bring about a gallon of water to a boil.  Add the brining ingredients, including fresh herbs, salt, sugar and the vegetables to the hot water and blend for several minutes, until the salt and sugar is dissolved.

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Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. (To speed things up you can add cold water and/or ice to it.)

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Place a bit of water at the bottom of your brining container and add the turkey, breast side down and submerge the turkey in the brine solution so that it is completely covered.

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I use a large stainless steel pan designed for deep frying, because it’s the largest pot I own.  Any clean large container including a new five gallon bucket would work.  Refrigerate overnight or at least 24 hours. If your brine doesn’t completely cover the turkey, turn the turkey over half way through brining.

Then you have to get ready to cook the turkey!  Next day, about an hour before you are ready to cook the turkey, remove the bird from the bath and discard all of the brine, but keep the vegetables.  Rinse the turkey well with cold water and pat dry.

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I use the stuffing inside the carcass for added flavor while it cooks in a roasting bag.  A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees measured with a food thermometer.  Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.  Allow the turkey to set at least 20 to 30 minutes, or even up to an hour before carving to allow juices to saturate the meat evenly.

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I prefer to cook the dressing outside of the turkey and the meat was tender and succulent!

Enjoy!
Cheers!
~Chris

 

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