Brine Your Turkey for Thanksgiving!
In honor of the release of my cookbook Starke Deadly Delicious Recipes and Thanksgiving, here's how to brine your turkey!
12 cups water, divided
1 cup sea salt (do not use regular salt as bird will be too salty)
1-2 cups sugar (I use brown sugar and sometimes omit)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sage
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons rosemary
1 tablespoon pepper
4 cups ice
Bring 4 cups of water to a simmering boil. Add salt and sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Stir in 8 cups cold water, apple cider vinegar, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and ice. The brine is ready.
Remove giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse the outside and inside of a thawed turkey. Using paper towels, pat the turkey dry. Completely submerge the turkey in whatever you can find that is food safe. Allow the turkey to marinate for 8-12 hours for a small turkey (8-10 lbs) and up to 20 hours for a really big bird. Do not go past 20 hours because bird may become too salty. Rinse turkey and pat dry before adding additional seasoning, butter, or oil in preparation for roasting.
Note: brined birds can cook faster than a turkey that has not been brined, as the salt breaks down the muscle tissues, so check the bird more often so it doesn't become overcooked.
AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!