Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey Brine

I use this brine every time I make a turkey. It will, quite literally, fall off the bone, there is no need to 'carve' the bird, only slice the meat after the fact. No dry turkey here, & it freezes incredibly well for later use in soups, pasta recipes & the like.

2 cups Kosher Salt You MUST use Kosher
2 gallons cold water
2 cups hot water (not boiling)
1 10lb bag of ice (unless you're using the fridge to hold the bird)
2 cups brown sugar
3Tbs Garlic Powder
3Tbs Ground Cinnamon (or 3 sticks, crushed)
3Tbs Pepper Corns, rubbed to release flavor (do NOT crack)
3Tbs Cocoa Powder
2Tbs Chili Powder
OR (NOT both)
4-6 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, Basil, & Thyme (or 2Tbs each, dried)
Thawed or Fresh Turkey (whole or breast)

Dissolve the salt in the hot water. Add the cold water. Add all spices & seasonings, stirring well to mix into the water & ensure salt is dissolved. If brining in the tub, or ice chest add the ice. Ensure turkey is thawed, if previously frozen, & all gizzards/neck/gravy packet is removed (store for later use if you want). Add turkey & totally submerge.

Allow to brine for at least 8 hours, but 24 hours works best. Rinse turkey, especially cavity, prior to baking or frying as usual.

Don't mix the cocoa/chili & fresh herbs. One or the other is wonderful but the two together are ... um ... 'interesting' shall we say.

I brine my turkey for 24 hours, in an ice chest, in the coldest part of the house. That means the garage, or even back porch if its cold enough. Put a large stone or brick on top to discourage animals if it will be outside, though we've never had issues with it.

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