Turkey: Ultimate Brine for Turkey

posted by Mimi Hiller 03-27-100 5:52 PM

Ultimate Brine for Turkey

1 1/2 cups, Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups, brown sugar
10 whole cloves
3 teaspoons, black peppercorns
1 1/2 gallons (6 quarts) apple juice or cider (non-alcoholic)
the peel from one orange or one tangerine (colored part only - not white pith)
[optional: 3 teaspoons, dried thyme and/or 3 teaspoons, dried sage]

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pot, bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes (partly covered). Allow brine to cool completely.

Rinse turkey under cool running water, inside and out (remove giblets from body cavity - but reserve them, if desired, for giblet gravy). Pat turkey dry with paper towels, then immerse turkey in cooled brine.* Turkey should be completely submerged in liquid (place a plate on top of the bird if necessary to keep it covered with the liquid).

Cover the pot and refrigerate for 8-10 hours. Remove turkey, rinse, pat dry, and roast as usual.

*Be sure that the container for the turkey in brine is non-reactive: use enamel, glass or crockery or stainless steel - never cast iron or aluminum. The pot should be just large enough to contain the turkey (so the brine will be sufficient to cover the bird).

Note: A simple, unflavored brine may be made instead, by combining Kosher salt and granulated sugar with plain water [in the same amounts as called for above], heating to dissolve the salt and sugar, then cooling the brine mixture and submerging the turkey as described above.

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