Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
I adopted this recipe from Mean Chef. "Great brine for turkey or chicken."
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3⁄4 cup kosher salt
- 3 heads garlic, cloves separated, not peeled
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh ginger, unpeeled, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes
- 1 1⁄2 cups soy sauce
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 quarts water
- Combine all ingredients in large stainless steel pot.
- Bring to simmer, remove from heat and cool completely Remove turkey neck and giblets.
- Rinse turkey well.
- Put turkey in cold brine.
- Use a stainless, plastic or other non-reactive container.
- Add water if brine doesn't cover bird.
- Refrigerate 2- 4 days, turning bird twice a day.
- To cook: remove turkey from brine, pat dry, brush with olive oil.
- Either grill or cook in oven.
- It is also advantageous to leave the dry turkey in the refrigerator for at least 4 hour or overnight, uncovered.
- This completely dries out the skin to insure a crisp finish.
- DO NOT stuff turkey.
Wow.. Mean Chef.. This was awesome! I used an oven stuffer roaster chicken. I put the brine and the chicken in a 2-gallon Zip Lock bag and then set it all in a soup pot to hold it in the refrigerator. I halved the recipe for the brine since I used a chicken instead of a turkey. This was the most moist chicken I've ever had. It didn't taste like I thought it would. I expected it to taste like teriyaki because of the ingredients in the marinade.. but IT DIDN'T! It was just so beautifully browned and delicious. I left it in the brine for 2 1/2 days and then let it sit in the refrigerator to dry for 1/2 day. I am certainly going to do this again. I think I'll even do my chicken pieces this way too. Thanks Mean Chef. :)
There just isn't a better way to prepare a turkey than to "brine it" prior to cooking. This is an excellent brine - one I'll likely use for my Thanksgiving turkey this year. I tried it on a turkey breast and the results were terrific.
This made a fabulous turkey. I had a 15-pounder in the freezer so I thawed it in the fridge for a couple days first. Then I made the brine exactly as posted and dropped the turkey in, brined for 3 days, turning as instructed. I roasted the brined bird in my large Nesco (with an onion, carrot, celery stalk inside - ala Joy of Cooking). It was falling-apart moist and tender and the flavor imparted by the brine makes a plain ol' turkey something very special. Oh, btw, MC - I did end up making soup with the remains - thumbs up!! Probably will never prepare a turkey any other way again! Thanks, Meanie!