Brining the Turkey for Thanksgiving

Here is a great way to impress the family this holiday season.

Don’t buy the already brined or basted turkey. You maybe paying for more salt water than you need to consume. As it sits there in the grocers’ fridge waiting to be taken away, do you know how long it has been in that sodium solution?

I didn’t think so.

Get a fresh one this year and try brining it yourself. Brining produces great flavor and retains more juices. It is easy. If you don’t have a pot large enough to hold the bird, use a cooler.

Turkey Preparation

Remove giblets & neck (reserve for gravy).

To Brine the turkey ( unless pre-basted) use  2 cups kosher salt per gallon of water* for 14-22 lb. bird.

Rinse turkey & coat with salt, place in a large pot& cover turkey completely with cold water

and refrigerate.

After at least 4 hours remove turkey from brine, rinse under cold water, pat dry with paper towels, season under and over skin with dry rub and/fresh herbs. Enhance this baby with some softened butter and Grand Marnier yummmmm!

Set oven to 400˚f (325˚ if using convection) with oven rack set in low position

Prepare turkey for roasting by tucking wing tips under the back.

Some turkeys are already framed at the drumsticks with a metal or silicone clip. If yours is not you can force one drum stick tip through skin of the opposite side of the cavity and tuck the other drum stick underneath. Or truss with butchers twine. Choose one of these options so the roast cooks uniformly and retains more juices.

Place in roasting pan with rack insert ( lined with aluminum foil ). If you are using the disposable aluminum roasting pans that do not have a rack insert, place the roast on top of a few slices of bread or some carrots and celery stalks.

Roast for 45 min. or until crisp then carefully turn bird breast side down & continue roasting at 325˚ and cook until roast temperature reads 172˚ ( using a meat thermometer, insert into thigh for the best read ). If using convection do not change oven temperature.

Remove from oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes, uncovered, before moving to platter. Reserve pan drippings for gravy.

*Apple Cider or beer are a great alternative. Cloves, bay leaves and rosemary can enhance the brining.