Tasty Tuesday: Brine & Roast a Turkey

"He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart."

-J.A. Shedd

Hello! I hope you are well! Can you believe Thanksgiving is NEXT week! I cannot! I was recently asked by a friend how I brine my turkey, so I decided to share that technique here. Brining your bird really does produce a flavorful turkey! ENJOY!

Aviary williams-sonoma-com Picture 1

What is brining?

Brining was a traditional method of preserving foods before the days of refrigeration, and it is a technique that has regained popularity. Cooks of all types are discovering that a good brine bath adds flavor and juiciness to pork, chicken, turkey and even shrimp. After the food is brined, it is then roasted or grilled.

A brine bath penetrates into food much more deeply than a marinade. Water from the brine enters each meat cell, making the meat juicier while infusing it with flavor. When cooked, the meat or poultry will not necessarily taste salty; it will just taste juicy and delicious!

How to make a basic brine:

To make a basic brine, mix a 1/4 cup kosher salt for every 4 cups of liquid. (The salt should be kosher salt because it does not contain additives.) You can use water only or mix in other flavorful liquids, such as orange juice, apple cider or wine. Brown sugar, lemon zest, garlic, ginger, sage, rosemary and cinnamon sticks are a few flavoring ingredients that can be used. Heating the liquids helps to dissolve the salt and meld the flavors, but be sure to cool the brine completely before adding meat, poultry or fish.

Submerge the food completely in the brine, using nonreactive containers or sealable plastic bags. Then cover and refrigerate.

Shrimp only require 30 to 45 minutes of brining. Individual cuts of meat, such as pork chops or chicken breasts, take 2 to 4 hours. A pork tenderloin can be brined overnight, while a whole turkey is best after 24 hours of brining.

Always discard brine solutions; do not reuse them!

After the specified time remove your turkey from the brining bag/container, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a flat rack in a large roasting pan. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

For a 16 lb. turkey:

1.) Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F.
2.) Roast the turkey for 25 minutes.
3.) Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and roast for 45 minutes more, then begin basting the turkey every 30 minutes with your choice of basting liquid.
4.) Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F.
5.) Total roasting time will be around 3 to 3 3/4 hours.
6.) Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Thought of the Day:

"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

Have a great day and remember: Go Ahead & Indulge!


Sue Runyon said...

Looks good! I've never tried brining. My DH always smokes our turkey and I'm happy to let him.

jason said...

Sounds great! I included a link to this recipe on our most recent BlogCatalog email about Thanksgiving recipes. Hopefully, it'll send some readers your way. You can see the email here: http://mim.io/ff087