Monday, November 30, 2009

Brined Turkey

This year I decided to brine the Thanksgiving turkey. Here is the recipe I used.

6 quarts tap water
1 pound kosher salt
1 cup molasses
2 cups honey
1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried sage
Large bunch fresh thyme
2 heads garlic broken into individual cloves, unpeeled

Bringing the solution to boil

You'll need a REALLY big pot, add thawed turkey

Submerge the turkey, breast side down, in the brine. Make sure the cavity of the bird fills with the liquid as you are submerging it.
Let the turkey sit for 12 hours to 2 days. Remove the bird from the brine and dry it thoroughly with thick (absorbent) kitchen or paper towels. Wipe inside the cavity as well. Discard the brine
Cut apple, onion & whole head of garlic in half to stuff in the cavity of turkey before roasting
The night before I added various dried herbs (basil, parsley, sage, salt, pepper, garlic powder) to softened butter. Gently lift the skin covering 1 breast of the turkey and spread butter right on the meat under the skin. Repeat with the other breast.Add remaining butter all over the top of the bird & inside the cavity. The butter will add extra moisture and richness as it roasts.
I made a make-shift roasting rack with onions, garlic and sprigs of fresh rosemary, doing this allows steam to cook the turkey from all directions.
Put on the lower rack of the oven and roast until the internal temperature of the turkey taken from the thickest part of the thigh reads 160-165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 3 1/2 hours.
Remove the turkey from the oven to a cutting board or serving platter and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
The finished product. It really was so moist & juicy. I'll def do this again!