And so today, I offer you this cute, fake bird so you don’t have to look at a giant (27-pound!!) raw turkey bobbing in a bag o’ water. This Thanksgiving we get to cook for 29 people. Ahhh- the best holiday of the year. And I’m pretty sure my parents think they’ve won the lottery now that my sister is dating a cook too.
So today’s job is brining the turkey. This is what we’re gonna do.
(…and slotted for tomorrow…cranberry sauce!)
Brining our turkey
This brine can be increased or decreased depending upon the size of the bird. This year, we tripled it.
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 3/8 cup sugar
- 1 gallon room-temp water
- a few bay leaves
- half a head of garlic
- 1/2 bunch of sage
- 3 whole allspice berries
- 3 juniper berries
Combine half the water, salt, sugar, bay, garlic, herbs, and spices in a pot large enough to hold it all. Place over high heat and bring to a bare simmer. This will allow the salt and sugar to dissolve and the aromatics to bloom. Cool to room temperature and add the other half of the water. Place the turkey in the brining bag* and pour in the brine. We’re going to brine our bird for 3 days.
*If you’re using a brining bag as opposed to a bucket, you’ll need to be sure to rotate it a few times over the next few days to make sure that the whole bird gets equal contact with the brine.