Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turkey Brine

Well, we are at that time of the year again to start thinking turkey! It is hands down my favorite meal in the world to prepare and eat (especially the eating part) so to kick off the Thanksgiving recipe fest (there will be many recipes and pictures in the next few days featuring what I am preparing for my Thanksgiving dinner early so I can give everyone my recipes and tips).

First of all, I always plan ahead on the turkey and then I plan the side dishes after I figure out what kind of turkey I am preparing. I have 3-4 different ways I fix turkey, it just depends on what I am thinking at the time. This year I have chosen to brine my turkey in an apple brine. The recipe is simple and you soak your bird for about 24 hours before cooking it. I wish you guys could smell it, it is in the oven right now and it smells fantastic!

To make my brine here is the recipe:

1 gallon of water
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
2 cups apple juice or cider
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. coarse salt (kosher or sea salt, it doesn't matter as long as it is coarse)
2 tsp granulated garlic or 1 clove garlic (minced or pressed)
2 tsp ground sage or 1 Tbsp freshly chopped sage leaves
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp rosemary
10 allspice berries
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all together until salt and brown sugar is dissolved in a large stockpot or clean 5 gallon bucket. Wash turkey, remove giblets and neck. Soak turkey a minimum of 24 hours, turning after 12 hours.

- If you use a bucket, make sure that it fits into the refrigerator and I will buy a brand new bucket if using it for turkey, rather than trying to wash out one I already have.
- If you have a boiling water canner, it makes a great vessel to brine the turkey since it is large enough for a 25 lb bird and under and fits in the fridge on the top shelf (that is what I used is my boiling water canner pot)

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