Monday, November 30, 2009

The Secret to My Turkey is…

Turkey2That’s right!  Turkey Brine.  Ever since I started brining my turkey I have never stopped getting compliments and comments about how moist the turkey turned out.  It’s a super simple step before roasting your turkey.  You just have to remember to start a day earlier.Turkey4This year I cheated.  I found a premade brine mix.  Last year I made my own.  It took a little more thought, but it was still easy.  All you do is boil a few cups of the brine in a few gallons of  water until all the salt is dissolved.  I actually let mine simmer a bit since it smelled so good and the aroma just filled our home.  It was nice.T1After boiling the brine I put it in the fridge to cool. While it cools prepare your turkey.  I put my turkey in a roasting bag and once the brine has cooled I just pour it into the bag.  I think there ended up being about three gallons of liquid for my 18 pound turkey.  You want to make sure that the whole turkey is covered with liquid.  Then put the whole thing into the fridge and leave it overnight. T2The next day just before you are ready to roast your turkey drain and discard of all the brine and liquid. T3This is what I was left with.  Look at all those beautiful spices. I believe that the salt in the brine changes the chemistry in the turkey.  I think that’s the secret to a moist and soft turkey.  But then again I didn’t do too well in chemistry, so this is all just speculation.T4Next give your turkey a nice bath.  Then set it on your roasting pan and pat it dry.  Oh, believe it or not I don’t own a roasting pan.  I just use my broiler pan and stick a rack on top of it.  It has worked out for years, so I doubt I’ll be purchasing a roasting pan anytime soon.  Shhh….don’t tell anyone who actually knows what they’re doing when it comes to cooking a turkey.  I’m just showing you what I do and it’s probably against some cooking law.  Who knows. T6Again this year, I cheated and found some “turkey herbs.”  In years past I have loved using fresh herbs like Thyme and Rosemary.  I’m getting old and lazy.  Anyways, I then mix my herbs with a stick of melted butter and slather it all over the turkey.  I even tuck a little in underneath the skin.  Then cover it with foil and I stick a temperature probe into the thigh.  I have one of those fancy ovens that keeps the temperature for me.  When the temperature reaches about 170 degrees I remove the foil and slather more butter on top of the turkey. T7Voila!  When the temperature hits 180 you’ll end up with this amazing looking bird. T8 This is my master turkey carver.  You’ll never see his face.  He shuns me whenever I pull out my camera.  He’s a member of our church.  No, it’s not Jared.  Anyways, my master turkey carver told me that he almost thought the turkey wasn’t fully cooked because when he went to carve it for the first time the juices squirted out onto to him.  That’s how moist the turkey was.  I’m not kidding.  You know how everyone always wants to eat the dark meat because the white meat often comes out too dry?  Well not anymore… if you start brining your turkey.
So that is how I do my turkey.  Be sure to check back later.  I’ve got some more recipes to share and our fun Thanksgiving with our friends.  Good times for sure!

1 comment:

Glenda said...

I agree! I brined my turkey (sometimes I'm too lazy and don't) again this year. Yum, yum, yum, I didn't even boil mine, just added brown sugar and salt to the water (cold even), stirred to dissolve, submerged the chicken then added cut up oranges and lemons (in eighths and squeezed to let the juice in the water) and fresh thyme and rosemary. The next day I used butter and salt and pepper over the bird and added more oranges, lemons, carrots, celery, thyme inside the cavity. All this I got from Emeril Lagasse's cooking show one year. And you're right - it is so moist and delicious!