Thanksgiving, the Quintessential American holiday brings family and friends together for some mouthwatering delights and to give thanks. Aromas of a roasting turkey circulate into every room of the house. Cranberries and pumpkin pie add an air of spice to get our appetites ready for the meal to come.
The Turkey is usually the center piece of this holiday and of course it should be moist. Many a host on Thanksgiving Day will be a little nervous when the bird is carved and they hope to see the juices flow out to a sigh of relief.
The CUISINEIST test kitchens have been hard at work to come up with a way to have a juicy Turkey every time and ease the stress. Brining is a very good way to make sure your bird is just right.
Why Should you Brine?
Brining makes your Turkey moist. Salt causes the meat tissues to absorb water and flavorings. It also breaks down the proteins, resulting in a tender-seeming turkey. This means that even though you loose moisture loss roasting and the long cooking time you end up with a juicy Turkey
How to Brine Your Turkey
The real trick with brining is finding a container that’s large enough to submerge the turkey and to fit in your refrigerator. You can try a stock pot, a bucket, or a roasting pan; if you use a shallow roasting pan, you will need to turn the bird periodically so that each side rests in the brine. Place the container on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator.
The ratio for turkey brine is two cups of kosher salt to two gallons of water.
- Dissolve salt (and sugar, if using) in two cups of hot water. Stir in remaining gallon plus 3 ½ quarts of cold water.
- Dont forget to remove giblets and neck from turkey.
- Immerse turkey in brine and refrigerate for at least eight hours but no longer than 24 hours.
Cooking the Turkey
When you’re ready to start cooking , pour off the brine. Rinse the turkey well with cool tap water, and pat dry with paper towels.
Now Tuck the wing tips behind the back and place the Turkey breast-side up, on a roasting rack.
Start with with your preferred recipe, but remember that the turkey has already absorbed a significant amount of salt–any drippings that you use for gravy will already have enough salt, and no salt should be added !
This recipe should keep your Thanksgiving Bird moist and sure to impress your Guests. Enjoy !