Orange Mojito-Brined Turkey

Orange Mojito-Brined Turkey
4.5 from 2 ratings
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.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Orange Mojito-Brined Turkey recipe - The Daily Meal
Total time: 18.48 hours
  • 1 1/2 quarts cold water
  • 3/4 cup 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 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed (see notes)
  • 3/4 tablespoon 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 tablespoon black peppercorns, slightly crushed in spice grinder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 cup ice cubes
  • 1 (12- to 15-pound) turkey
  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.
  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.
  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.
  4. Remove turkey from marinade and place uncovered in refrigerator to air dry at least 2 hours before roasting.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  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.
  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.
  8. Let rest 15 to 30 minutes before carving. Each 1 1/2 pounds of turkey provides 1 generous serving and leftovers.