Sloppy Turkey Christmas

Most of the time, Turkey is dry, and absolutely worthless without that gravy. Now, don’t get me wrong … I love gravy. But, I’d like it if my Turkey tasted as Juicy as it always looks on TV.
Turkey is a great meat. It’s lean and just a versatile as chicken. I’m surprised people don’t eat it during other parts of the year.

Well, I’m here to tell you that Turkey doesn’t have to be bland. And this way, you won’t have to slather it with so much of that high fat gravy.

I’m talkin’ about a Brine. It ain’t a 30-minute meal, but it’ll be worth it, I promise. (I adapted this recipe from Alton Brown … that brother knows food).

A brine is basically a solution of water, salt, and possibly sugar and spices that you drown your bird in. The water on the outside of the bird has a large amount of sodium (salt) in it. The bird itself doesn’t. When the bird has been sitting in the solution for long enough, the salt, and along with it, the other spices and sugar move down the sodium’s concentration gradient into the Turkey’s meat.

And voila! Flavor.

Here’s the basics.

~1 gallon of water (or better, 1 gallon of Vegetable Stock)
1 cup of Kosher Salt (or sea salt … don’t use Iodized)

1/2 cup brown sugar

and then add in some spices, example:

1 Tbsp black pepper corns

1/2 Tbsp alspice berries

1/2 Tbsp candied ginger

(you can try all kinds of flavors … so long as the salt and sugar are right, you can experiment with the rest).

Take all of the above and place in a large pot. Boil. Stir to dissolve solids. Remove from heat, and let cool. Refrigerate overnight. There’s your brine.

Next day:

Place Turkey into a 5-gallon Bucket (sterile of course)

Combine Brine and 1 gallon of iced water and pour over Turkey

Store either in the fridge (if by some miracle you have the space) or in the Garage or some other cold place. (Hint: A cooler works great. Set 5 gallon bucket in the cooler, fill rest of the cooler with ice. Bingo bango … instant Fridge)

Let sit for 5 hours.

Take the Bird out, and let drip dry for a bit. Paper towel dry the rest.

Set Turkey into Roasting pan.

Preheat Oven to 500 degrees

Meanwhile, cut up

-1/2 onion

-1 apple

-a few sprigs of Rosemary

-a few Sage leaves

-and some parsley

stuff them into the cavity along with

-1 Cinnamon stick

cover Turkey liberally with Smart Balance Oil

Here’s what Alton says to do next:

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven,

reducing temperature to 350 degrees F.

Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting.

Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

And there you have it. Good for you, tasty, yummi-ness.


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