For a JUICIER and TASTIER turkey, brine before cooking! If your turkey or chicken is kosher do not brine since it has already been salted. Brining isn't just for poultry but also lean cuts of meat and even fish and shrimp. But you must adjust time to their size. Example; a whole trout takes only 20 minutes and the same with shrimp, a whole chicken takes about 4 hours, a cut up chicken about 2hrs. May add honey or maple surup, may replace some of the water with something like apple cider or coffee. Let loose your creativity. Yes, you have to plan ahead but for little effort the results are WORTH IT!
- Combine 2 quarts of water in a 6 quart pot with salt and sugar, over high heat until dissolved.
- If wanted, add other seasonings at this time.
- Let come back to room temperature.
- You will need 2 gallon turkey size oven roasting bags.
- Place one roasting bag inside the other, roll down the edges of the bags to help them stay open.
- Put bags in a heavy roasting pan that will hold turkey.
- Place turkey breast side down, with legs facing you in the inner bag.
- Some help from another person at this point would be of help, they can hold the bags open for you as you pour the cooled brine into the cavity and over the turkey.
- Gather the inner bag as tightly as possible and secure with a twist tie.
- Secure outer bag with twist tie.
- Refrigerate in the roasting pan for 12-18 hours.
- Remove from bags, rinse very well, pat dry with paper towels.
- It's now ready for your favorite recipe.
I am getting ready for Thanksgiving again this year and had to find the brine recipe that I used last year because it made THE MOST INCREDIBLE TURKEY THAT I HAVE EVER TASTED! Well, this is the one! We used Kosher salt and brown sugar and also added minced garlic, a little bit of thyme and some rosemary and let it soak for 18 hours total. I took a plate of leftovers to my dad last year and he loved the turkey so much that he is coming to our house this year for Thanksgiving dinner. And last year was the first time that I had ever cooked a turkey in my life! The only thing that I have to say is MAKE SURE YOU RINSE THE TURKEY WELL! I did not pay attention to that step and my stuffing got REALLY salty, but it was my own dumb fault. Thank you for posting this. I will never make a turkey another way so long as I live!
I have used this brine as a base several times now and love it! Usually when I make chicken I marinate it overnight so it has a chance to take on some flavor, but this is so much quicker! For chicken pieces I only marinate for an hour and a half since it was a little salty for my taste the first time I tried it (at 2 hours). I usually replace half the water with beer and might try it with wine next. I also add in some garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fresh rosemary or other herbs from my garden...makes the most flavorful and moist chicken!
My Christmas turkey tasted great! I let my bird sit in the brine, in a stockpot, overnight.