Before it’s time to cook the turkey, there’s still one very important step that should not be forgotten. Here’s the important turkey flavor step to do TODAY!
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How To Add A Ton Of Flavor To Turkey
I share this step every single year because I can’t stress how important it is! Bottom line is that turkeys need quite a bit of help in the flavor department. There’s good reason all those recipes for cooking a turkey, whether you’re roasting, frying or smoking one, have a long list of ingredient flavor enhancers. But the starting point for, the key to flavoring a turkey is…….
BRINE YOUR TURKEY!!
This is such an important step that must be taken so you won’t have a bland bird. This measure ensures juiciness, tenderness, and down-right delicious flavor. I promise you, when you follow these steps for flavor, whether you’re cooking a whole bird or just the breast, you will enjoy a juicy, tender, and very very delicioius one!
Turkey Flavor Step
Brining a turkey should always happen the day before Thanksgiving. This is how to inject so much flavor into the bird and to keep it from drying out.
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 improvement centers), add
- 3/4 cup of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup table salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons of whole peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
Add 6 cups of hot water to the bucket and stir the ingredients until the salt and most of the sugar have dissolved.
Once the salt and sugar have mostly dissolved, add 2 gallons of cold water.
Now, place the turkey in the brining mixture, 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. Soak turkey for at least 12 hours or overnight.
2 hours before cooking, remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place in roasting rack and let it come up to room temperature. It’s always best to bring up the temperature of the turkey before cooking
Cook the turkey following your favorite recipe!
Last Minute Easy Thanksgiving Appetizer
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.