Sunday, November 15, 2009

To Brine or Not to Brine?

 That is the question this Thanksgiving season.

(photo of maple-brined turkey from the Food Network)

Pioneer Woman had blogged about brined turkey last year, 
and I considered it until it became evident that I 
wouldn't have to attempt a turkey.

I had decided about a month ago to give it 
a try so I have been researching recipes.
There are only a gazillion different brine recipes and every other show on the Food Network is brined turkey.  I have found recipes for Spanish Rub brine, bay and lemon, honey, maple, herb-crusted, and beer brines.  

We have decided to give Anne Burrell's recipe a try.  


She has the show "Secrets of a Restaraunt Chef" 
and I secretly think she is  Guy Fieri's twin. 

At any rate we are going to do her Brined Herb-Crusted 
Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy.

  • 7 quarts water
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 equatorially
  • 1/2 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 bunch fresh sage
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 12 to 14 pound turkey
Herb Crust:
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 quart chicken stock, divided
  • 2 cups apple cider, divided
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Of course, Thanksgiving is still 11 days away so I may change my mind ...
once, or twice or six times!

Anybody out there have any experience with brining a turkey?


sister 3 said...

Hmmm. That sounds interesting. I've only made a turkey once and I think that was enough for me. I have no idea what we're making this year. We were going to the beach, but I think we'll be sticking around here instead. :( Now we have to figure out what to do (or eat)instead.

Sue said...

I watched Elton Brown do one yesterday in a cooler - very interesting. I think Alyssa and I are making Pam's pork loin with green slime.

SisterTwo said...

Nope, I always play it safe for my turkey. Never have I deep fried in the back yard or add any kind of injection to it. I always start with a Honeysuckle White turkey, stick a sliced onion, carrots and celery inside it's cavity. Rub with butter, salt and pepper and cook it a Reynolds oven bag, since my oven is so unreliable. Always turns out great. Good luck with the brine.

Sister One said...

You'll LOVE the green slime pork loin ---- I anxious to hear what you think!

Traci said...

ok I give....what is green slime?

Librarysherrie said...

I've been watching the "turkey brine" shows also! The one thing I didn't know was the importance of using a natural turkey, one that hasn't been injected with any other fillers. I love the Honeysuckle White but I don't think you could use it with brine because of the ingredients already added. Good luck!

ruth said...

why doesn't anyone answer the question about the green slime? Is it jello? Or mint jelly? No, you put that on lamb. I'm mystified......

Sister One said...

Okay, okay! Watch for a Green Slime post over Thanksgiving break.

Traci said...