Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Aromatic Turkey Brine

ere we are, the day before thanksgiving. Earlier I purchased a 13.5 lb fresh hen turkey that I'll be smoking tomorrow. Come back and check it out tomorrow night when everyone is sitting around and too stuffed to move. I'll be making the brine later this afternoon and I invite you to come back and watch me do it. I'll provide the recipe as well if anyone else is brining a bird. In fact, I'll share the ingredients now in case anyone wants to run out and buy them to have on hand. You'll need a large container, like a clean 5 gallon bucket or a large stock pot and some room in your fridge. If you don't have room, no worries, get a cooler and a few bags of ice.

Aromatic Turkey Brine

    * 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
    * 1 cup brown sugar
    * 2 oranges, quartered
    * 2 lemons, quartered
    * 6 sprigs thyme
    * 4 sprigs rosemary
    *  1 cup apple juice

To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 1 gallons of boiling water in a stock pot.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Let the brine cool  and then add additional gallon of cold water. By letting the herbs steep, we are extracting their wonderful aroma into the liquid which will in turn infuse it into the turkey.

Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

Please feel free to leave comments. If you have any questions, click on my signature above and send me an email. I'll be happy to respond. Check back this afternoon for the brining of the bird.

I have made the brine and it is in the fridge cooling. There wasn't much to take pictures of really. It's a fairly straight forward and uneventful process. Just make sure to add ice and subtract water if you need to get the turkey in the brine right away. I'll be brining mine for 12 hours, so it goes into the brine at 10 pm tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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