Turkey Brine!

I come bringing my turkey brine, which originally came from from an old friend of mine on LiveJournal back in 2005. It’s the best brine evar. I mean it, guys. EVAR.

Please do not look too closely to my MIL’s fridge. I had no idea it looks so bad. Pay no attention to anything except for the storage tote filled with turkey brine and four turkey breasts!

So. Yes. I’ve got a brine recipe to share – though it’s only half of the recipe as the roasting will happen tomorrow 🙂 Yay!

I’m going to share with you the original recipe as it was shared with me, and make my changes in italics. Here we go!

*ahem* This recipe will yield one moist, finger-eatin’ good bird.
Adapted from a brine recipe by the MWB* Alton Brown.

1/2 gallon veggie stock
3 cups unspiced apple cider
1 cup water
1 3/4 cups kosher salt
1 heaping tablespoon of peppercorns (four color) – I used regular black peppercorns
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
4 – 5 large cloves of sliced garlic – I used already peeled garlic, and hey, half the package
a thumb’s worth of fresh julienned ginger
OPTIONAL: quarter of a nutmeg (grate the sides to let the flavors out) OR
1 heaped teaspoon of nutmeg

You’ll also need:

one (1) five-gallon bucket with lid, or other capacious container with lid
1 gallon water
1 bag of ice

Put all of your brine ingredients into a stock pot and bring to a rolling boil, stirring to mix and dissolve the salt. Let boil for five minutes and then turn off the heat; the brine needs to cool completely. You can refrigerate it in the stock pot with the lid on, should you want to make the brine ahead of time.

Mix the ice and water in a container to let it chill.

Prep your turkey while the ice and water are chilling. Mine was just over thirteen pounds, but this will work with a smaller (or larger) bird. Remove the giblets and the neck, if you have them, and wash the bird in cool water, removing any stray bits of feathers. If you use a frozen bird, make sure it’s well thawed out– don’t remove the thermometer, if there’s one in the bird.

Pour the brine and iced water into the bucket and give it a stir; then, put the turkey in the bucket head first and put the lid on.

You can brine the bird for eight to twenty-four hours. Just make sure that halfway through, you turn the turkey head-up to let the legs get a good soak.

Yes. This is the entire recipe, you guys. You’re welcome! Since I didn’t have access to the car to buy the ice, or the ginger – I just used ground ginger, ground nutmeg, threw in a couple of cups of ice in the tote thingie, and threw it in the fridge. I’ll bring in pictures of the roasting process tomorrow 🙂


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