To brine or not to brine..... That is the question. Are you undecided? I was last year.
I had never never had a brined turkey before, but I was face with this way to big bird.. Like 24 lbs. for 5 people, crazy I know.
We would need to have multiple dinners of turkey and then probably still have to freeze some before we all got sick of turkey. I needed my turkey to be moist when it came out of the oven with enough moisture to be recooked without needing it to be drowned in gravy.
Brining was the answer!! A super juicy bird on turkey day and great moist leftovers even when they got recooked in the oven. Even though I had a huge bird I still only brined for about 8 hrs. dried it off with paper towel and let it rest uncover in the fridge for about 2 hours just to make sure the skin was dry (that's how you get crispy skin). The longer the meat soaks in a brine the softer it will be come, keep this in mind. To much brining isn't a good thing.
I used a metal pot used for frying to soak, be sure to use something that is food grade. Even a roasting bag or a large cooler can work. I was lucky enough to have plenty of space in my fridge to keep this in, if you can't afford the space keep it covered with bags of ice.
I know I have talked your eyes off by now, but one more quick thing! I even give you how I roasted and seasoned my bird if you want to do it like I did. I hope your turkey is as wonderful as ours was! :)
*** Even though I had a big bird these instructions will be geared more towards 10 -18 lb. birds.**
one year ago: Baked Bacon Cheddar Corn
- 1 gallon vegetable broth
- 1 cup sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon dried sage
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 gallon ice water
- *In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients except for ice water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
- When brine is cooled, pour it into a large bucket/cooler. Stir in the ice water.
- Wash your turkey. Be sure to remove innards. Place the turkey, breast side down, into the brine. Make sure the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight ( 6 to 8 hrs.)
- Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
- Cook turkey as desired, REMEMBER that the turkey will cook faster than normal due to the brining about 20 to 30 mins. Cook until temperature of about 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh. Cover and let rest of about 30 minutes before serving.
- 1 large cheese cloth
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cloves garlic, divided
- 1 medium onion, quartered & divided
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 Tablespoon sage
- 1 Tablespoon thyme
- 1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth
- black pepper, to taste
- *Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat warm chicken broth, butter, 1/2 of the onion, 1/2 of the garlic, oregano, sage, thyme, and black pepper.
- Once butter is melted add in cheese cloth and let soak for a minute or two.
- Stuff the inside of the turkey with the rest of the onion and garlic and place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Take cheese cloth and wrap the turkey breast and thighs. Pour remaining broth mixture over turkey and cheese cloth.
- Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees F. Remove cheese cloth and continue to roast, (I basted every 45 minutes to an hour OR you can decide to leave the cheese cloth on and not bast but I just have to bast, lol). Cooking time will be anywhere from about 10 to 20 mins a lb. Check temperature in thickest part of thigh until turkey reaches 165 degrees F.
Slightly adapted from: allrecipes & Caylie H.
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