Saturday, November 29, 2008

I "Brined" the Turkey!

The older I get, the more things I find I don't know. Three days ago, while perusing one of my favorite liberal blogs, I found a glowing review of the San Francisco Chronicle's receipe for brining a turkey. After racing to the supermarket for a few ingredients, I did the following in less than 30 minutes:

Put 2.5 gallons of water into the inmost of two large, doubled garbage bags that were placed inside a plastic cooler.

Into the water I put 2 cups of Kosher salt, one cup of sugar, a clove of garlic (all peeled sections), a whole bunch of fresh thyme, 5 crushed juniper berries, and 4 crushed allspice nuggets. I thrashed it all around for a couple of minutes to mix it up.

Into the bag went the turkey, about 5 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving Day. I tied the top of the plastic bags tightly, put the top on the cooler and let it all sit until 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Then I took out the turkey, dried it, and tossed out the brine mix.

The 20 pound turkey roasted for about 3.5 hours at 350 degrees (until the thigh meat was 165 degrees). No stuffing allowed!

Best turkey we ever ate, by a mile! White meat firm, moist, and flavorful, dark meat delicious! This was the first time I remember the turkey being the food sensation of Thanksgiving.

It's no wonder the Chronicle found this receipe the best of the 28 that they tested. Bon appetite!


Woozie said...

Why no stuffing?

unokhan said...

is 'Kosher' a special brand of salt? if i can't get Kosher's can i just use morton's?

Dave said...

Interesting, I brined for the first time this year. Makes the breast edible, even good.

Life Hiker said...

Woozie, we had plenty of stuffing, but it was baked separately from the turkey. I've often heard it claimed that turkey's don't roast as well if the cavity is filled with stuffing. Also, sometimes the stuffing does not fully cook inside the turkey. This receipe specifically stated "unstuffed".

Unokahn, Kosher salt has no additives and it has a very large grain size. Otherwise, it's the same as other salt. Beat's me why they specified "Kosher"...but it is easy to find in any supermarket.

Dave, I agree. The breast meat was the best I've ever tasted. In fact, the Good Witch asked me if I could brine a fresh breast of turkey for "company". Of course, I could.

Ron Davison said...

We've brined before for some reason I did not do that this year. Our turkey was good but this recipe sounds better. Could you do us a favor? Re-run this next year about a week before Thanksgiving?

Dave K said...

OH, I am so hungry now. :) I have been missing comfort foods for a while now and really miss them at holidays! I will enjoy your brined turkey vicariously and save the recipe. Thanks!

Dave said...

For Unokahn, Kosher salt dissolves better than regular salt. I also weighs less, so if you are measuring for brine for example, you need more than the recipe calls for, unless it calls for Kosher salt. I think that sentence made sense.