Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

I have something to tell you. I am the queen at making turkeys. They are always juicy and tasty. In fact, my mother was so impressed with how my turkey turned out that she makes her turkeys like this now;)
Picture from

The secrete, Brine your turkey! There are loads of recipes to get different flavors. The basic idea is you have to have a completely thawed turkey soak in a seasoned water bath for about 12 hours.

I use a cooler because the turkey has to be completely covered and I don't have a pot big enough to fit a turkey. This is the recipe I usually use.

1/2 cup black pepper corns
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 gallon of water
Lots of ice cubes
(Any fresh seasonings I get from bountiful basket) Rosemary, thyme, bay leaves

Put all the ingredients into the cooler and mix. Gently lay turkey inside and get air bubbles out so turkey doesn't float. Every 2 hours rotate and flip turkey and stir water to get what has settled down at the bottom back around the turkey. I usually have to double the recipe to fill my cooler.

To bake the turkey I take the turkey out of brine, drain off any excess water, put it in a baking bag and follow the directions on the package. Brined turkeys will cook quicker because of the water they have absorbed will make the inside heat up quicker.

This year I am going to branch out and do THIS recipe;)
  • 3 cups Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
  • 2 gallons Cold Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-1/2 cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
  • 5 whole Bay Leaves
  • Peel Of Three Large Oranges

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.
Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.
When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside.
Discard brine. Remove turkey from clean water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.

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