Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey with Brown Sugar Brine

This turkey benefits from a technique called brining—soaking the bird in a seasoned saltwater solution, which draws moisture and flavorings into the meat. Brining helps keep the meat juicy without giving it a salty taste.

2 1/2 cups kosher salt
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbs. peppercorns
1 gallon water
1 1/2 gallons ice water
1 turkey, 16 to 18 lb., rinsed

In a large pot over high heat, combine the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns and the 1 gallon water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Let cool to lukewarm, about 1 hour. Stir 1/2 gallon of the ice water into the brine. Place the turkey in the brining bag. Pour in the brine and the remaining 1 gallon ice water. Using the sealing clip, seal the bag securely and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours. For added stability, place the bag in a pot or on a baking sheet. Remove the turkey from the brine. Rinse the turkey thoroughly with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brining bag. Brush the turkey with 4 tbsp melted butter.
adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

I use a lot less water--only as much as my biggest pot holds.
I cook the turkey in an oven roasting bag according to the directions for the bag.
I think this is the most simple way to ensure a moist turkey.

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