Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Brine

I ripped this from the big M. Stewart last year, and it was so good I'm using it once again. (Not to mention I have all of the spices left over from last year!)

Makes enough brine for one 18- to 20-pound turkey

  • 7 quarts (28 cups) water
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing
  • 1 bottle dry Riesling
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
Word to the wise: this is hard to do by yourself. I know because I just did it while home alone. It is not impossible, but more difficult. I used the 2" baking pan that I will be roasting the turkey in tomorrow, but once I had about 4 quarts water plus a bottle of reisling, my "brining" bag started to sag. Ultimately you want something deep that is as tall as the turkey, or some other turkey around to hold the bag while you pour in the liquid ;)

  1. 1. Bring 1 quart water, the salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Line a 5-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. (I used two garbage bags) Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag; if turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once. XO -kellie