I don’t know about you, but I like my turkey and chicken brined before I cook it. Brining is an awesome process by which you dunk the poultry into a salty or sweet bath for 24 hours before cooking it. I love an apple juice brine for my cornish game hens, but my absolute favorite is a salt brine that I modeled after an old Martha Stewart recipe.
As I never want to spend a fortune on spices I use once a year, I modified it to fit my budget and the change to my turkeys has been amazing. My husband can even tell the difference. It takes about 24 hours to brine an 18-20 pound turkey, a little less if you have a smaller turkey.
Here is what you need:
- 10 cups Water
- 1 -1/2 cups Kosher Coarse Salt
- 1/2 package fresh Poultry seasoning herbs (found in the refrigerated veggie section, or fresh Thyme, Rosemary and Sage)
- 1 Tsp Ground Pepper (or whole black peppercorns)
- 6 cloves crushed Garlic
- 1/2 Onion, Sliced into thin pieces
- 1 Bottle Riesling wine
- Oven Cooking Bag
- Stock pot that holds turkey and fits in fridge.
Boil 4 cups water and the salt, herbs and pepper in a small saucepan. Cool for a few minutes.
Prepare turkey. Rinse, remove giblets and neck, pat dry. Open bag and place in stock pot, overlapping the edges over the side of the pot to allow you to place turkey and brine in. Insert garlic and onions. Place turkey breast down in brine. Pour in bottle of wine, trying to include cavity. Pour in contents of saucepan, again including cavity. Pour in the rest of water to cover turkey as much as possible. Tie up ends of bag and place in fridge. Brine for 24 hours, turning turkey upside down 12 hours in. Rinse turkey and prepare as usual.