I had lunch with a friend the other day, who told me she had just discovered brining. Brining is a cooking method that uses aromatic spices and salt to flavor meat and encourage moisture retention. In other words, the science of salt allows the turkey, (even the white meat!), to remain juicy and flavorful throughout the cooking process. Its easy to do – and you can use the same idea to brine your everyday chicken and pork as well. I know Alton Brown has lots of great recipes and ideas about brining, as does Emeril. If you are interested in brining Pork, the “king of sausage” Bruce Aidells has a wonderful pork book, (Bruce Aidells Complete Book of Pork), that includes great pork recipes using all kinds of brine.
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Gallon Water
1 (1 Gallon ) Zip Lock Bag Ice
2 Oranges Quartered
2 Limes Quartered
6 Sprigs Thyme and 6 Sprigs Rosemary
2 Bottles Dark Beer
1 Quart Apple Cider
12 -14 Lb Turkey – for a bigger bird use an additional gallon of water and an additional 1/2 cup each salt and sugar.
1 Turkey Roasting Bag or 1 Clean Plastic Trash Bag
1 Large Cooler Full of Ice – leave just enough room for your turkey to fit
In a large stockpot over high heat, dissolve the salt and sugar in the 1 gallon water. Remove from the heat and add the ice, apple juice and beer. Place the turkey, oranges, limes, lemons, rosemary and thyme in the plastic bag. Place the bag in the cooler full of ice. Pour the liquid into the bag, and make sure it is well distributed with the citrus and herbs. Close the bag tightly and leave in the closed cooler overnight. When ready to use, remove the turkey from the bag, discard the marinade and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Use your favorite turkey recipe for roasting the bird.