Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday's Meal

Well, Thursday is Thanksgiving and for many years I've been the official chef of my family's Thanksgiving day feast. I used to fry the turkey. Even though it's so delicious, it's a big hassle. It's also kind of expensive if you're just doing one turkey since you have to use so much oil. Anyways, for the last few years I've been brining the turkey. It's oh so tasty and if you've never tried it, I highly recommend it.
Here's a simple brine recipe to get you started. It should make enough brine for a 14lb bird. Enjoy!

Turkey Brine

1/2 gallon apple cider
2 cup dark brown sugar
11 bottles of dark beer
2 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of cloves
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried savory
1/4 cup black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves

You will need a non-reactive container large enough to hold the turkey. In a stock pot over medium heat combine all the ingredients except for the beer, bring to a low boil. Mix well until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Let it cool. Transfer to your container and add the beer. Place your turkey into the container, make sure the cavity is filled with the brine. Cover with ice and soak the turkey for overnight. Ideally if you can get your container into the fridge that would be better, otherwise make sure that you keep it cold with ice at all times. On the day you're ready to cook it, remove the turkey, pat dry (discard the leftover brine) and cook as directed. A brined turkey will cook somewhat faster so be sure to use your meat thermometer to monitor for doneness.