One of the many awesome cooking techniques that I learned during my Pro Cooking Course was the concept of brining. The most simplistic brine is made with water and salt. However, adding herbs and/or spices is also common as they add a whole different level of flavor to your poultry. Brining will assure that your poultry is first and foremost moist but also flavorful. Since this week those of us who live in United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving and the centerpiece of this celebration is turkey, I thought I would post a Turkey recipe.
For me one of the most important steps in preparing turkey is brining. I think it truly makes a difference. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am so not into dry turkey meat!!
When adding herbs to your brine you can either use fresh or dried herbs. I love using thyme and rosemary from my garden. I also like to add some sage as I think it adds a nice flavor to poultry. Peppercorn as also a good addition to your brine. Spices like cinnamon stick and whole cloves are also excellent choices.
The day before Thanksgiving thaw turkey and remove from packaging. Remove the neck and giblets package from the cavity. Rise turkey.
To make the most simplistic brine bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add 1/2 to 1 cup of salt. Mix well until salt is dissolved. Allow to cool at room temperature.
If you are planning on including aromatics such as herbs and spices, add them to your brine.
Line a bowl that is large enough for your turkey to fit into with two plastic bags. Make sure that there are no holes in the bags.
Place your turkey breast down in the lined bowl and add brine along with enough water so that the turkey is covered.
A great addition to brine is also juice.
I made a pomegranate flavored turkey and to stretch the flavor I added 3 cups of pomegranate juice to my brine.
Close the bags and place turkey in the fridge until ready to cook the following day.
When ready to cook, remove turkey from brine and rinse before cooking. Discard brine.