Thursday, December 8, 2011

Turkey Brine

I know Thanksgiving is over, but I just had to post this recipe, you can use it for a Christmas Turkey or save the recipe until next year. I found it on the Pioneer Woman's Blog but tweaked it a bit to what I had on hand. I love brining the Turkey... it makes it juicy and flavorful. This year I smoked my Turkey in my Traeger
Smoker for about 8 hours, but you can also brine your Turkey and then roast it in the oven as usual. When I roast my turkey I like to use the roasting bags and I follow the directions on the package for cooking time. I usually do the stuffing in a crock pot, you don't really want to stuff it after brining because of the salt in the brine. Yum!

Turkey Brine
3 cups Apple juice
2 Tablespoons dried Rosemary (or 2 or 3 Sprigs fresh)
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1-1/2 cups Kosher Salt
2 cups packed Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons whole Peppercorns
5 whole Bay Leaves
Orange peel, (I thinly sliced mine off of 2 Large oranges, be careful not to get too much of the white pith underneath)
2 Gallons cold Water

In a large soup pot, combine all of the ingredients with 1 gallon of water. Bring to a boil, and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let this mixture cool completely.
In a tall gallon bucket (i have one that I use ONLY for Turkey Brine) combine the cooked mixture with the other gallon of cold water, and add your uncooked Turkey, tail side up. Cover with lid and let sit in the Brine for 24 hours. Since it's winter time and really cold outside, I let my bucket of turkey and brine sit outside on my porch, where ever you put it just keep it cold.
When ready to roast or smoke turkey, remove from brine and discard the brine. Let turkey sit in a sink of fresh cold water for about 15 minutes to remove excesss salt from the outside.
Drain Turkey and pat dry. Cook according to your desired cooking method.

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