Brined Turkey

Brined Turkey
Staff Writer

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This turkey made its way into chef Craig Deihl’s recipe collection by way of a staff meal at his Charleston restaurant Cypress. He explains that while many people don’t do it on Thanksgiving, the brine is the single most important part of getting a perfectly moist turkey, and adds, "The brine makes the difference between a good turkey and a great one." After trying his recipe, we believe him.

Click here to see A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving.

Ingredients

For the brine and the turkey

  • 2  Cups  water
  • 3/4  Cups  salt
  • 1/2  Cup  light brown sugar
  • sprigs thyme
  • head garlic, split in half
  • white peppercorns
  • bay leaves
  • gallons ice water
  • One  15-pound turkey

Directions

For the brine and the turkey

In a saucepan, combine the 2 cups water with the salt and sugar. Place over medium-high heat. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. If it starts to boil, lower the temperature. Add the sage, thyme, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves and cook for 3 minutes. In a large container, combine the ice water and the hot mixture. Stir with a large spoon. Liquid should be ice cold. Place the turkey into the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Remove the turkey from the brine and put in a colander with the legs facing down to drain excess brine. Brine can be discarded. Using paper towels, pat the turkey dry. Roast the turkey in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 5 hours or until an internal thermometer reaches 160 degrees.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
1g
1%
Sugar
3g
3%
Carbohydrate, by difference
10g
8%
Protein
3g
7%
Vitamin A, RAE
45µg
6%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
11mg
15%
Calcium, Ca
45mg
5%
Choline, total
2mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
1g
4%
Folate, total
54µg
14%
Iron, Fe
4mg
22%
Magnesium, Mg
14mg
4%
Niacin
3mg
21%
Phosphorus, P
51mg
7%
Selenium, Se
2µg
4%
Sodium, Na
68mg
5%
Water
40g
1%

Brine Shopping Tip

Thanksgiving is not the only time to consume turkey. Now readily available year-round, be sure to take advantage of this chicken substitute.

Brine Cooking Tip

For juicy meat, be sure to brine the turkey.