The Thanksgiving turkey… it can either by dry as a bone or a tasty masterpiece. Over the years, I’ve managed to do both but I have it down now. My family loves my turkey and it’s not hard, it comes down to the best bird and brine.
First, don’t skimp on the turkey. The factory farmed frozen birds are tasteless compared to a local fresh bird that spent it’s summer grazing on grass and bugs.
Second is the brine. There are many options but this is my favorite. You’ll need a brine bag or a very large plastic page. An unscented garbage bag will work… but make sure it has not scent or your bird will taste like Fabreeze.
Take a large cooler and cover the bottom with ice. Then place the turkey in the bag into the cooler.
Time to mix the brine.
1 gallon of cider
2 bottle of white wine
1 cup of salt
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of honey
1 jar of dijon mustard
In a large stock pot, heat half the cider and mix in the salt, sugar, honey and mustard. Do not boil. Just heat to the point where the other ingredients are mixed. Let cool to room temperature.
Add the rest of the cider and then pour over turkey. Add the white wine leaving enough for a glass for you. Add more ice to the cooler, around the sides and on top if you can. Store outside or in a cold spot.
Let the turkey brine for 24-36 hours. Add more ice if needed to keep the turkey cold. Before you cook, drain the bird and pat the skin dry. There is no need to salt the turkey again since the brine was salted. Cook in your oven or in a roaster or even the grill until it registers 165 degrees in the breast.
The turkey will be moist and the drippings make delicious gravy. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving.