This year, I am lucky to be taking a break from cooking a full Thanksgiving Feast as we will be with my Dad for the day. Cooking for a big family meal can be stressful to get your timing right and make sure that you have food hot and ready all together, but I kind of love it. I think it goes back to my childhood and watching my Mom entertain and teach others how to entertain. At any case, it wouldn’t be the holiday’s without a great recipe share. This is my go to Brine Bath for my turkey, the longer it can sit the better… Again, I cannot recall the original source but it was from on of the following… My former co-worker Adam, The Pioneer Woman, or Southern Living. I hand wrote the recipe and I didn’t write the source down, so my sincere apologies, as I always like to give the original source. So, without further adieu.
Brine for Turkey
- 2 gallons of water (give or take)
- 3 cups apple cider ( I probably use more apple cider than water – about 3/4 of a gallon)
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup salt (I use sea salt)
- 3 tablespoons tricolor peppercorns
- 5 whole bay leaves
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Peel of 3 large oranges, cut into large strips (I just slice the oranges into whole slices and use the orange pulp and peel)
- 4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped off
- 1 turkey (we always name ours, past favorites include: Pumpkin, Ted I, Ted II, and Ted III, Fred)
Combine water, cider, brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, orange strips, and rosemary in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Bring to a boil them turn off and cover. Cool completely. If you are like we are, put your pot on your back porch. It’s cold enough out there to be a second fridge. After the brine is completely cool, put your turkey in. In my case, my pot was not that large, so, take a cooler, put in your bird, then pour over his cold brine bath. Let turkey bath for 16 to 24 hours. I have gone up to about 36 hours in the past.
Before cooking, rise and submerge turkey in a pot of cold water and let sit for 15/20 minutes. Last year I am pretty sure that I skipped the let sit part, I am pretty sure that I just washed him off and then seasoned with a little butter and put him in the oven.
Then stuff/cook/do whatever you will with your bird. Enjoy!
Even though we aren’t making the whole meal for Thanksgiving; I may still have to make my traditional Southern Living, Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie again this year. Or maybe my Aunt Davetta’s Sweet Potato Casserole (AKA, Sweet Potato Dessert).
If you are looking for an awesome Mac and Cheese recipe that doesn’t come from a blue box… Miss Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta has some amazing soul food and this is my families favorite thing and always requested.
Travel safely friends and enjoy your time with friends and family!