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Brined Turkey

Brined Turkey
Thinkstock/iStockphoto

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.

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Ingredients

For the brine and the turkey

  • 2 Cups water
  • 3/4 Cups salt
  • 1/2 Cup light brown sugar
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 head garlic, split in half
  • 5 white peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 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
Servings12
Calories Per Serving606
Total Fat23g35%
Sugar6gN/A
Saturated6g29%
Cholesterol290mg97%
Protein87g100%
Carbs8g3%
Vitamin A71µg8%
Vitamin B125µg82%
Vitamin B62mg100%
Vitamin C3mg4%
Vitamin D1µgN/A
Vitamin E0.4mg1.8%
Calcium83mg8%
Fiber0.3g1.1%
Folate (food)29µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)29µg7%
Iron4mg21%
Magnesium110mg28%
Monounsaturated7gN/A
Niacin (B3)31mg100%
Phosphorus744mg100%
Polyunsaturated6gN/A
Potassium932mg27%
Riboflavin (B2)0.8mg44.3%
Sodium2904mg100%
Sugars, added6gN/A
Thiamin (B1)0.2mg13.5%
Trans0.2gN/A
Zinc7mg49%