Countdown to Christmas! Brining a Turkey

I know it’s still too early to brine your turkey for the holidays, but it is never too early to start planning for them!  
Note to self:  Please do not attempt to brine your turkey until December 23, or you will spend your Christmas on the toilet!

Doesn’t that look nice!

A couple of years ago we hosted Christmas for my family, and my husband was in charge of the turkey. With inspiration from various foodie gurus, he decided that he wanted to brine it. What?!  How could one mess with tradition and not do the turkey the traditional way?! Nonetheless, I wanted nothing to do with the turkey preparation, as I despise raw birds.  The skin is disgusting.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, brining.  He found a couple of different recipes, basically combined certain parts, and came up with a recipe.
Now let me tell you this.  We will never, I mean nevah, cook a turkey without brining it first. This turkey was the most succulent thing you have ever tasted.  Delish.

Turkey Brine

This recipe works for an 18-25 lb turkey.
28 cups water
1 1/2 cups coarse salt
6 bay leaves
2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
8 garlic cloves
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bottle dry white wine (Riesling)
1 cup fresh cranberries (These do not add flavour, they just look pretty.  Seriously.  Add them.)

  • Rinse your turkey, removing all the innards (neck, giblets…).  Pat it dry
  • Mix 4 cups of the water with the salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and coriander.  Bring to a boil, and stir until all the salt has dissolved.  Cool.
  • Place turkey in a container large enough to hold it, and all the brine.  You can use a stock pot, a cooler, a bucket – whatever, as long as it is clean.  And as long as you can clean it after you are done!
  • Add remaining water (24 cups), wine, garlic, onions, fresh thyme and cranberries.
  • Let your turkey soak in the brine for about 12-24 hours.  We did 24.  Make sure you keep it in the fridge while it is brining.  
  • You should turn the turkey once during the brining process.
Good Luck!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Barb December 16, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    This really was the juiciest turkey I had ever had! this is a great recipe!

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