Archive for November 17th, 2012

17th November
written by Arthur

Everyone wants it.  Dreams of it.  Is disappointed when they don’t get it – when they take a bite out of the thanksgiving turkey and find it to be…. DRY!

This problem that faces our great nation every November can be avoided. Brine to keep your turkey moist.  I really don’t know why the airwaves aren’t full of PSAs informing the public of this process.

A simple brine is just salt water.  When you soak your meat in this salt water you get more tender and more moist meat.  And, as an added bonus, the brine can be used as a vector for flavor conveyance.  BUT YOU NEED TO START EARLY – one to three days before the big day.  So hurry!

Here is how you do it:

For every five pounds of turkey get half a gallon water and a half cup of kosher salt.

In a large pot bring the water to a simmer and dissolve the salt.  Now you have a pot of brine.  Let the brine return to room temperature (we don’t want to soak the bird in warm water).  If your turkey fits in your pot, drop it in and put it in the fridge.  If your turkey is too big, get a heavy duty trash bag, place in the turkey and pour in the brine.  If using the trash bag,  I recommend operating in the sink and double or triple layering on bags to be on the safe side.  The bird should be fully submerged.

Whether in the pot or in the bag, put the turkey and brine in the fridge for one – three days.  Prior to baking, rinse the bird to remove any excess salt and cook how ever family tradition dictates.

A quick Google search will yield countless things you can add to the brine to impart additional flavor (citrus, apple cider, herbs, etc.).  The flavor imparted is usually relatively minor, but can give a bit of an extra dimension.  If the flavors makes you nervous, skip it.  But, unless you are deep frying, don’t skip the brine! The turkey will be moist at the dinner table and for the leftovers in the days to come.

Tags: ,