Every year at Thanksgiving, there is a question that must be asked. No, it’s not about Uncle Bobby’s politically incorrect opinions or why your Father-In-Law voted for who he did. It’s the question of what to do with your turkey.
Turkey is one of those things that changes it’s goodness very quickly based on how it is cooked. Juicy, seasoned, and browned…fantastic! Dry, bland, and pale…no thanks. We’ve all been there. Dry turkey, filling your mouth like the sands of the Sahara. You try to struggle your way through dinner, like Lawrence of Arabia looking for an oasis. This turkey is like eating the Gramillian sand peas at Quarks. (If you don’t get this reference get caught up on DS9.) Is the gravy your only hope? No…even gravy can’t save a piece of turkey drier than Mercury. (That’s the planet, not the metal, which isn’t particularly dry. Just make the joke work here folks.)
So, how can we be sure that our turkey is going to be like butter and not like hardtack? The answer is complex, but it has one very simple component. Obviously you can’t overcook it, and you want to make sure there is some fat on it, like butter. But, as far as I’m concerned, the real trick is a good brine.
Brine, is basically salt-water. No, I’m not suggesting going down to the ocean with your turkey for a swim, although if that’s your thing who am I to judge? No, you want to make a brine at home. It’s super-easy, although it’s a little bit more complicated than just salt and water.
A good brine, composed of stock, seasoning, salt, and sugar, will impart so much juiciness and flavor to America’s greatest bird, which Ben Franklin actually wanted to be our national symbol, that you’ll never want to eat it any other way again. Unless you use a flavor injector…but that’s a different story for a different blog post.
Check out our brine recipe below, and let us know how your Turkey turns out. We want to be a part of your Thanksgiving too!
- 8 Cups of Water
- 8 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
- ⅓ Cup of Kosher Salt
- ⅓ Cup of Granulated Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons of Whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 Tablespoon of Poultry Seasoning
- 1 Turkey
- Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to be sure that salt, sugar, and bouillon is dissolved.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once brine is cool, clean turkey and place in turkey size oven bag. Pour brine into bag, and then add cold water to just cover bird.
- Leave turkey in brine, in refrigerator, for about 48 hours.
- Remove from brine, pat dry, rub down turkey, under and on top of the skin, with butter and poultry seasoning, and roast according to directions on package.
- Enjoy a turkey juicier than a Thanksgiving flavored Gusher!