Monday, November 25, 2013

Terrific Turkey Brine, and Yes I Roast My Turkey Upside Down.

Why in the world would I roast my turkey upside down?  In this family there is a fist fight over dark meat every time we have poultry, most times I only purchase thighs and legs so there is no blood shed. A thanksgiving of just turkey legs does not sound good to me.  I once read on a blog that roasting a chicken upside down will have all the juices settle into the breast meat causing it to be a moist as dark meat.  I thought what the heck and I tried it.  It turned out perfect I had never seen my husband down breast meat without a complaint.  It is the standard way I roast my chickens now.  So why not give it a try with a turkey?  It was great!  
I always feel that the thanksgiving turkey was missing a flavor boost.  Typically I do not even eat turkey on thanksgiving I load up on all the side dishes and then make a rosemary turkey sandwhich the following day to get my turkey in.  I have seen turkey brine recipies floating around my favorite blogs and food shows for a couple years.   As I mentioned in a previous post that I have recently purchased the Pioneer Woman Cooks A Year of Holidays cookbook and lo behold there was a turkey brine recipe in it.  A sign from the cooking gods this was the year I was going to try a brine and this was the recipe to use.  I will never make an unbrined turkey again !! I forgot to take picture of making the brine so if you want a picture tutorial you will have to flip over to Pioneer Woman to see her pictures.  If not here is the recipe.


  • 3 cups Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
  • 2 gallons Cold Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-½ cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
  • 5 whole Bay Leaves
  • Peel Of Three Large Oranges

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.
Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.
When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside.
Discard brine. Remove turkey from clean water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.

Here is my turkey in the brine solution before I drained and rinsed it.  
Here is it getting it's bath.  Pioneer Woman warned against using a previously frozen turkey due to the sodium solution all ready injected to the turkey making it to salty to eat.  However all I had was  a previously frozen turkey so when it was time to soak it in clear water for 15 min half way through I changed the water.  It worked perfectly it was not salty at all. 

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