Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Brine it Baby!

Well, I did it... Finally at 36 years of age (wow I sound old) I cooked my first Christmas Turkey Dinner.

Last year, my sister made a turkey with a brine recipe from Pioneer Woman.

I found a butcher here in Senegal that was taking orders for Christmas turkey's. We ordered an 8 kilogram turkey.... 17.6 pounds (for just the four of us!). And of course, it arrived with it's feet and head attached in twine (not to mention the usual surprises stuffed inside).

Christmas Eve morning, I whipped up the brine hoping to recreate my sisters delicious turkey. For 24 hours, the turkey soaked. Brine, baby, brine!

Here is the recipe from Pioneer Woman (and also a great explanation as to why you should brine):

3 cups Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
2 gallons Cold Water
4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
5 cloves Garlic, Minced
1-½ cup Kosher Salt
2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
5 whole Bay Leaves
Peel Of Three Large Oranges

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.

Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.

When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside.

Discard brine. Remove turkey from clean water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.

The turkey was juicy, flavorful, and fantastic.

My stuffing, on the other hand, was not.
I need a good stuffing recipe if anyone out there has one they would like to share. I used Pioneer Woman's, but had to do a lot of 'substituting' as I didn't have cornbread.

We also had mashed garlic potatoes, green beans with carrots, lots of gravy, and homemade apple pie. The only thing missing was cranberries, but it's impossible to get those here.

We all sat down for dinner and spent an hour eating, relaxing, laughing, and enjoying each others company.
It was a perfect meal (minus the stuffing!).

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a feast! Maybe next year I'll try the brining.