Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and we always have an inn full of family. I must admit to being a bit proud of our wonderful turkeys. For years, I resisted the idea of brining the bird. Then, we had a guest who happened to be a well-known chef, so I asked him if it was worth the extra work. He said, “Try it, you’ll be surprised.” And yes I was. Our delicious turkey, which I thought couldn’t get any better, is simply amazing. We hope you try -and enjoy- our favorite Thanksgiving Turkey brine recipe.
- 2 gallons cold water
- 3 cups apple cider
- 2 cups baked brown sugar
- ¾ cup kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp tri-color peppercorns
- 5 whole bay leaves
- 5 cloves garlic; minced
- Peel of 3 large oranges; cut into large strips
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary; leaves stripped off
- 1 uncooked turkey
- Combine all ingredients (except turkey) in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Bring to a boil and then turn off heat and cover. Allow to cool completely, and the place in the fridge to chill.
- Place fresh, uncooked, turkey in brine solution, and then refrigerate for 16-24 hours (you may add more cold water if your turkey is large). Note: we add ice cubes and use a clean cooler for the turkey and put it on our back porch. You may need to be a bit creative.
- When you’re ready to roast, remove the turkey from the brine, and submerge in a pot or sink of cold water. Allow to sit 15 to 20 minutes to remove excess salt from outside. Discard brine.
- Remove the turkey from the water and then rinse again.
- Pat dry and cook according to your usual roasting method. We like to stuff the turkey and rub it with butter and poultry seasoning. Then roast – at 325 approximately 15 minutes a pound, basting very frequently and test for doneness with a thermometer.
Let us know if you try our favorite Turkey brine recipe for thanksgiving, or if you have any questions. We wish you happy times in the kitchen and a joyful Thanksgiving!