It's Thanksgiving! One of my favorite holidays of the year and I love to cook dinner for the family. The smells, picking at what's being made and the thought of everyone home just feels good. Bonus for us: Our son will be home for the weekend from his training! Can't wait to see him.
I've only recently started brining turkeys, this being my third. I've browsed a lot recipes out there and picked what I liked from them. This recipe will produce a nice aromatic mixture that will add flavor to your bird. Another thing I like to do too is roast mine upside down and them flip it the last hour to brown the top. I can write about that later.
The following brine recipe will be mixed with approximately 2 gallons of water. Brine the fully submerged turkey for about 24 hours (12 in a pinch!) If you don't have room in the refrigerator to hold it, you can use a large, ice-packed cooler. Half way through brining make sure to flip the turkey.
4 cups Apple Cider
½ bottle White Wine
1 ½ cups Kosher salt
6 cloves of Garlic, crushed
5 medium Bay Leaves
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 medium Onions, sliced
2 Oranges (just the peel, no pith. I put the peeled, oranges inside the turkey while it's roasting)
2-3 tablespoons of Rosemary
2 tablespoons Black Pepper Corn
2 tablespoons Coriander
1 tablespoon Mustard Seed
1 tablespoon Fennel Seed
A few sprigs of Thyme
Mix all ingredients in a stock pan and bring to a roll. Lower heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes, until the salt has dissolved. Cool before pouring in brining container with turkey. From what I've read it could cause problems with bacteria if you pour hot or warm brine on the turkey. You can use ice to cool down the brine if need be, just make sure you don't add as much water when you mix it all together.