Get Your Brine On

I’ve recommended brining your holiday turkey for a number of years.

This is my favorite brine recipe.

4 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon juniper berries
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 hefty bunch fresh thyme
6 to 8 springs of fresh rosemary
1 gallon water, plus more as needed
2 pounds ice
1 12-15lb turkey (heritage breed, if possible)

Combine the water, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns and juniper berries in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. While making the brine, place the ice in a 5-gallon bucket. Remove the brine from the heat and pour over ice to cool. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary and stir to incorporate.

Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. Top off with water and, if necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed. Cover and refrigerate. After at about 12 hours, remove the bird from brine and pour remaining liquid out of cavity. Your turkey is now ready for roasting.

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