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Orange Mojito-Brined Turkey

This turkey is sure to be the star of your holiday table
Orange Mojito-Brined Turkey recipe - The Daily Meal
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This year, try a new twist on your usual Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. This recipe combines spiced rum, orange juice, chopped mint, fresh herbs and toasted spices to make a show-stopping brine that will keep your turkey juicy and tender.

This recipe was originally published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.


To toast spices: Place in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking pan frequently, until golden and fragrant.


  • 1 1/2 quarts cold water
  • 3/4 Cups spiced rum, such as Captain Morgan Original
  • 2 sweet onions, skinned and roughly chopped
  • 5 to 10 cloves garlic (depending on how much of a garlic lover you are), roughly chopped
  • 3/4 Cups kosher salt
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed (see notes)
  • 3/4 Tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted and crushed (see notes)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons black peppercorns, slightly crushed in spice grinder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 Cups ice cubes
  • 1 (12- to 15-pound) turkey


Step 1: In a nonreactive large stockpot, combine 1 1/2 quarts cold water, 3/4 cup spiced rum, 2 chopped sweet onions, 5 to 10 chopeed cloves of garlic, 3/4 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 tablespoon toasted and crushed cumin seeds, 3/4 tablespoon toasted and crushed coriander seeds, 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, 2 tablespoons black peppercorns (slightly crushed in spice grinder) and 2 bay leaves.

Step 2: Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat, add 1 quart orange juice and 2 cups ice cubes and let cool to at least 40 F.

Step 3: Place 1 (12- to 15-pound) turkey in a 2-gallon zip-seal plastic bag or nonreactive pot or bowl. Add brine; seal or cover. Chill (in refrigerator or ice chest covered with ice and kosher salt) at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours for maximum flavor.

Step 4: Remove turkey from marinade and place uncovered in refrigerator to air dry at least 2 hours before roasting.

Step 5: Preheat oven to 325 F.

Step 6: Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Tuck wings under turkey. Roast turkey for 12 to 14 pounds, 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 hours; 14 to 16 pounds, 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 hours. Cooking times will vary from oven to oven and whether you have convection or not. With convection, lower cooking temperature to 300 F.

Step 7: If turkey starts browning too much during cooking, tent with aluminum foil and reduce oven temperature to 300 F (275 F for convection). Final internal temperature for turkey should register 165 F on an instant-read thermometer for the breast.

Step 8: Let rest 15 to 30 minutes before carving. Each 1 1/2 pounds of turkey provides 1 generous serving and leftovers.