My favorite brine recipe for a luscious Thanksgiving turkey!
Creating Magical Environments & Seasonal Celebrations
“The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we all can agree so vehemently about?”
— Nora Ephron
Dearest Good Wytches & all of my other friends!
This is the first in a series of Thanksgiving recipes and table setting ideas that I absolutely love to share with my readers! Over the next couple of months you will probably receive more than the normal weekly email and I hope that you’ll forgive me, but I think that the holidays are such a special time for sharing the magic of the season, don’t you agree?
So this is my favorite brining recipe for turkey, chicken or pork. It works every time!
I am sure that many of you already brine your Thanksgiving turkeys, but if you’ve never tried this before, what I will say is that brining the turkey first makes the cooked turkey (or whatever you brine) really moist and incredibly flavorful, especially when you use wonderful aromatics.
Just follow these directions and you’ll have a really delicious bird every time. It’s really important to make sure that you start with an unbrined bird or it will be way too salty!
Also? Don’t stuff a brined turkey. It will definitely be too salty. Cook the stuffing in a separate casserole and drizzle some of the pan juices over the stuffing while you cook it. You won’t miss any of the flavor, I promise.
If you use this recipe, the turkey will not be too salty and between the brining spices, the natural juices and the garlic and herb butter, the gravy you make from it will be incredible. If you are using a wild or free range turkey, brining it first is very helpful as the meat of those birds tends to be a little drier. If you have your own brine recipe please share it with me! I’d love to try it!
Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with the love of all of your family and friends!
Next up? Probably my recipe for Brown Butter and Sage Maple Pie or my favorite Chestnut, Sausage and Fruitcake stuffing!!
This can be used on chicken and pork as well and will deliver a delicious and moist bird every time!
2 cups of kosher salt
1 Cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons each of:
Chinese 5 spice
Chopped Crystallized ginger
Chopped Candied orange peel
Fresh or Dried sage
Fresh or Dried Rosemary
2 cracked cinnamon sticks
Fresh orange peel slices
Clean the turkey, remove the gizzard and giblets (discard or chop and set aside for the gravy!) and rinse the bird under cold water.
In a large cooler or Tupperware tub add:
1/2 gallon of heavily iced water,
1/2 gallon of chilled apple cider and the turkey.
In a large pot add a gallon of vegetable stock and all of the dried ingredients. Stir together and pour into the tub or cooler and give a gentle stir to mix everything , making sure that the salt and brown sugar are dissolved.
Refrigerate or if it's cold enough leave the cooler outside. Soak the turkey in the brine for at least 9 hours.
When you are ready to cook your turkey, remove the bird from the brine, rinse it lightly and prepare as you normally would! Do not reuse any part of the brine.
Cook your turkey according to your normal recipe, but make sure that you cover the bird with a cheese cloth and baste it with lots of melted garlic and herb butter every hour to keep your turkey moist and golden! If you’d like, every time you baste the turkey, think of something that you’re really thankful for. Absolutely nothing is better than food you’ve infused with love.
To make the luscious garlic and herb butter for basting, just melt several sticks of unsalted butter and add as much crushed garlic and poultry seasoning (if I’m not making it, I love Penzeys) as you like. It’s that easy!
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