Saturday, November 19, 2011

simple turkey brine recipe + what I put inside and on top

This brine from The Pioneer Woman is sooooo good. I've modified her recipe just a little bit...

The Pioneer Woman's Turkey Brine with a few small changes
(you make the brine, let it cool down to room temp
and then brine your raw turkey 24 hours in advance, so plan ahead)

3 cups apple cider
2 gallons cold tap water
a bunch of fresh rosemary
10 cloves of garlic, minced (double what she uses in her brine)
1 1/2 cups Kosher salt
2 cups brown sugar
handful of peppercorns
5 bay leaves
zest or peel of 3 large oranges

Combine all of these ingredients in a very large pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat off and cover the pot. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Make sure you remove the neck & giblets if they're inside your turkey. Place raw turkey into brine solution, then refrigerate for 24 hours. Northeasterners: I have been known to bolt the lid down with big rocks to keep the animals out, and store the pot outside on the patio if it's cold out...

When ready to roast your turkey, remove it from the brine and wash or hose it off. The idea is to remove the excess salt. Pat the turkey dry then proceed with your normal turkey roasting instructions. I forget what those are each year, so here's a link to the Whole Foods site with all sorts of helpful information, including cook times based upon the size turkey you are cooking.

I don't put our bread stuffing into our turkey, but I do stuff our turkey with a few aromatic herbs and citrus...

I also like to put some onions and herbs into the roasting pan.

And (achem), I have been known to lather up the turkey breasts I order for extra white meat with a wee bit of butter.

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