Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brining the Bird

Working off of Alton Brown's turkey brine recipe, with a few adjustments from last year, I created the following brine:

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
10 allspice berries
boiling water
5 lbs ice
[turkey, remove the heart, neck and giblets]

1. Add spices, sugar and salt to a few cups of boiling water.
2. Stir to disolve sugar and salt. Allow to steep for 20 minutes.
3. In a large, clean container, combine water and 5 pounds of ice.
4. Submerge the bird, adding more cold water if needed.
5. Store in a cold place, like fridge, or in a cooler, pack with ice if necessary.
(It was cold enough outside that I was able to keep it out there, topped with some bricks so that animals would not get into the 5-gallon painters bucket that housed the brining bird.)

The day-of

brined turkey
2 onions, quartered
2 ribs of celery, quartered
2 carrots, quartered
6 cloves of garlic
2-4 tbsp butter, optional

1. Remove bird from brine and rinse. Make sure to dislodge any stuck spices.
2. Thoroughly dry the skin of the bird.
3. Stuff the cavities with aromatics (I used onions, garlic, celery and carrots)
4. Liberally rub with butter.
Bake at 325F for the time allotted for your size turkey.

All the bird to rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

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