Thursday, 2 February 2012

Brining a Turkey - do not be afraid!

Brining your poultry (and sometimes your pork) may seem like an old-fashioned, unnecessary waste of time, but this is the kind of thinking that leads to dry, flavorless Thanksgiving dinners! When it comes to cooking, a lot of the old "tricks" your grandparents used are still very true and useful. There is truly nothing difficult about brining your bird - it only requires you to be thinking ahead (though if you have frozen birds, I hope you're doing that anyway! A Thanksgiving size turkey usually takes almost 4 days to thaw in the fridge!).

All you need is kosher salt, sugar, and water!
If you're new to roasting chickens and turkeys, or even if you've done it a few times but don't quite consider yourself to have mastered it yet, try this brine recipe! I promise you'll notice a difference! ALL the meat will be so tender and juicy, and so well seasoned! Unfortunately I cannot yet describe the science behind it, but trust me - it works, and it's delicious! I'd like to share my favorite brine and Thanksgiving Turkey recipe with you, and I encourage you to try it soon! Nothing makes my husband happier than a Turkey dinner well after Christmas is over!

For a 14 lb Turkey:
1. In a large bowl, dissolve 1 cup of Kosher salt (or 1/2 cup Table), and 1/2 cup of sugar in 1 gallon of lukewarm water.2. Put your Turkey in a small garbage bag  (or in double-bagged roasting bags) and rest it in a large bowl or pot. Slowly pour the brine all over the Turkey and try to get it as submerged as possible.
3. Let it sit in the fridge for 6-12 hours (preferably overnight).
4. If possible, take your Turkey out of the fridge 2 hours before roasting to let it come to room temperature. When you take it out of the fridge, rinse it very well in cold water. This is very important!

I should probably mention that no matter how well you follow these directions, if you overcook your Turkey it will still be dry and, well, overcooked. If you're unsure, check the temperature frequently near the end of the estimated roasting time. It should be between 160-170 degrees. Any higher than that and the white meat will get dry.

People were getting antsy to eat this thing, so I apologize for the terrible quality of the picture, but look how crisp and golden!

No comments:

Post a Comment