Good Morning Gentle Readers,
The purpose of the brine is to ensure a juicy and succulent turkey. Of course, nothing can overcome bad luck or roasting the turkey too long, but brined poultry is typically more tender.
For those who aren't familiar with brining, the sugar and salt tenderize the meat and mildly enhance the flavor. Your turkey will not taste like sweet, salty apples and you must still season the turkey exactly as you always do.
The brine is simple to make.
- Two cups brown sugar
- Two cups Kosher salt
- One quart apple cider
- One quart water
- Five cloves garlic
- Five tablespoons fresh rosemary or two tablespoons dried rosemary
Garlic and rosemary may be omitted
- Combine all ingredients in a large non-reactive pot
- Simmer until the sugar and salt is dissolved and then for another ten minutes
- Set aside to completely cool to room temperature
- Once cooled, add the turkey to the liquid inside the stockpot
- If nescessary, top the pot off with a 50/50 mix of apple cider and water so that the turkey is almost completely submerged
- Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours
- Rinse the turkey thoroughly before cooking
I use a large stockpot, but that may not be large enough for a big turkey. Any large container that won't react to the sugar/salt/cider mixture is fine.
By adjusting a shelf in the fridge, my stockpot will fit. If yours won't, stick it in an ice chest. Pot in first, then surround it with ice.
If you live in the cold climes, put the pot in the garage or shed. Make sure it doesn't freeze, but don't let it get warmer than forty degrees.