I hope everyone who reads this blog had a wonderfully chaotic Thanksgiving!
This year, Nathan and I decided that we wanted to keep everything low-key and instead of celebrating with family we made a tasty Thanksgiving meal for the two of us. We cooked (and ate) way too much food, checked out all of the Black Friday circulars, napped, played with the puppies and went to bed early. It was my idea of heaven!
The chefs over at Food TV have been telling us to brine our turkeys for years now - to ensure a moist, flavorful bird. Since we don't mind being Guinea pigs, I said "What the hell, let's do it!"
1 gallon of boiling water
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups honey
1 (5lb.) bag of ice
cooler, or other large vessel
raw turkey, cleaned with giblets removed
Once gallon of water is boiling, dissolve both salt and honey. Let cool slightly. Position turkey in container so the cavity is within your reach. Empty 1/2 of the bag of ice...carefully pour brine liquid over turkey (add additional water to fully cover bird, if needed) and follow up with remaining ice. Make sure that the liquid is in the cavity as well, or you will have a floating turkey. Cover and place in a cool, dry place and leave at least 12 hours or overnight.
Ready to roast: Drain liquid from container and remove bird. Thoroughly rinse bird removing any brine residue. Set in roasting pan, and pat dry with paper towels. Prepare bird as desired.
I like to think the brining worked, since we *kinda* took positioned our turkey a little too close to the top of the oven, thus giving it a little more color than we hoped. The breast meat still came out super moist and succulent. I'm pretty sure that if we didn't do the brine, it would've been as dry as sandpaper. Everyone has been asking "Is the meat salty?" and the short answer is NO. I don't really understand all of the science behind it, so if you are like me, you just gotta take my word for it. The brining process is a bit of a pain in the ass, to put it bluntly, so we may not do it again. I've read some bloggers who dry brined their bird with good success, so there's a possibility we may take that route next time.
The dogs waited on the couch patiently as we dressed the table.
Unfortunately, the turkey did not make a formal appearance at our table, since the table was a little small, and we had so much other food! It was a tad disappointing for me, since I purchased a beautiful new serving platter to place it on, and fresh herbs as a "bed" to ground the turkey and keep it in place. Oh well.
Leftover recipes to follow!