Thursday, November 17, 2011

Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey the secret's in the Brine!

The first time I ever hosted Thanksgiving was during law school, a bunch of us got together and had a nice little eclectic meal; I made my first turkey, was introduced to hashbrown casserole and as always ate too much dessert. My first turkey was ok, but I knew I could do better. The next time I hosted Thanksgiving, I got ambitious and tried brining. I was hooked at first bite. Brining makes the turkey flavorful, juicy and amazingly delicious.

My recipe is based on an Emeril Lagasse recipe, but even though he's the king of "Bam" I of course had to put my own spin on it. So before I share the recipe for a perfect turkey, here are a few tips about brining:
1. Plan Ahead, the turkey should be brined for 12 - 24 hours prior to cooking
2. Make sure you have a big enough pot or other container for the brine and turkey
3. Feel free to spice it up

Ok, On with the Brine!
The Brine Deets
2 Gallons Water
1 Cup Salt
1 Cup Sugar
2 Oranges Quartered
2 Lemons Quartered
1 Onion Quartered
5 Bay Leaves
5 Basil Leaves
1 TBS Rosemary

The How to on the Brine
Remove innereds (giblets, liver, neck...) from Turkey
Rinse the Turkey
Dissolve Salt and Sugar in Water
Squeeze Oranges and Lemons into Water (then toss in the fruit)
Add Onions and spices
Slowly and Carefully add Turkey
Cover and let sit for 12 - 24 hours
Once the Turkey has had a nice briny bath it's time to get cooking. Remove the Turkey from the Brine and rinse. Loosen the Turkey's skin and place turkey in roasting pan.

The Deets for the Turkey
1 Turkey large enough to feed your group (I usually cook a 12ish pound bird)
Butter - Grab a stick and use as much as you think you'll need (I usually use about 1/2 stick)
1 Onion Quartered
2 Oranges Quartered
2 Carrots Quartered
2 Sticks of Celery Quartered
3 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Seasoning Salt
1 Cup Broth for Basting (premade or homemade your choice)

The How To Turkey
Preheat the Oven 325
Slip your hand under the turkey skin and slip in a few tablespoons of butter and massage onto Turkey
Stuff 1/2 Onion, 1/2 Carrots, 1/2 Celery, 1/2 Orange, and Bay Leaves in Turkey
Put remaining 1/2 Onion, 1/2 Carrots, 1/2 Celery, 1/2 Orange around Turkey
Flip the Turkey over, Breast Side Down and cook for one hour
Flip Turkey Breast Side up
Butter the top of the Turkey, sprinkle with Seasoning Salt and put back in the oven
Basting every 30-45 Minutes
Roast according to Turkey Weight
The Turkey is considered done when the internal temp is 165 (stick thermometer in inner thigh to get the best reading)
Let the Turkey Rest for 15-20 Minutes prior to carving.
Plate, Pray & Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That Sounds Amazing! I think I will try it this year. THanks for all the yummy recipes!