Let’s talk turkey! It’s totally brine time.
By now, your turkey has thawed, and it’s time to add flavor before it heads into the oven. As you all know, the Brooke believes in the brine! It’s a no-brainer folks, a step that must be taken so you won’t have a bland bird. This measure ensures juiciness, tenderness, and down-right delicious flavor. Here is how to brine a turkey.
First, rinse the turkey. Either discard the giblets and neck, or save them for the gravy. In a large 5 gallon bucket (I use one from Home Depot or Lowe’s), add 2 cups of coarse salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of whole peppercorns, and 5 bay leaves. Add one gallon of luke warm water and stir the ingredients until the salt and most of the sugar have dissolved. Now, place the turkey in the brine and add cold water, ensuring that the turkey is covered by 2 full inches. Weight down the turkey with a plate to keep it totally submerged. Cover top of bucket with foil. In an ideal world, we would all have walk in refrigerators with ample storage. If you have room in your fridge for said turkey in bucket, then rock on. If you’re like me where there’s no room in the inn, place turkey bucket in large cooler and surround the bucket with ice. It’s very important to keep the turkey brine temperature at 40 degrees. Use a thermometer to monitor, adding more ice as necessary. Brine turkey for 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place in roasting rack and then back in cooler until 2 hours before roasting. It’s always best to bring up the temperature of the turkey before roasting.
Let’s face it, if you are hosting Thanksgiving, or even preparing a dish or two to contribute, this meal takes time, and worth every single minute. As I’ve shared, many of the side dishes can be prepared a day or two in advance, as well as the appetizers you’ll serve to keep your guests happy while you put the finishing touches on the meal. Keeping the appetizers easy, is the name of the game.
How about making this delicious cheese ball. It’s quick, easy and can be prepared up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Just 5 ingredients and you have the perfect holiday appetizer that is a crowd pleaser. I know, right?! Make this!
Click here for the recipe.