Friday, November 20, 2015

Turkey tips: brine your bird

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 1:13 PM

click to enlarge turkey.jpg

If you pick up a copy of this week's Arkansas Times, you'll find some tasty recipes from Little Rock chefs—just in time for Thanksgiving. One of the recipes is a turkey brine from Gilbert Alaquinez at Forty Two, and I was happy that we were able to include a brine recipe in this issue. Brining a bird is one of the best ways to impart loads of flavor to the meat, and it's a great way to keep a lean bird moist and juicy—because nothing is worse than biting into a slice of turkey breast that tastes like sawdust.

You can go as simple or as complicated with a brine as you want. For a bare-bones version, add 1 or 2 cups of salt (non-iodized is best) and one half to one whole cup of sugar per gallon of water, then heat the water until everything is dissolved. Chill the brine down, then submerge your turkey overnight. The salty water will cause the turkey to absorb moisture, and the addition of sugar will give your skin a delightful golden-brown color.

Of course, the best way to do a brine is to add other tasty things to it. Fresh sage, thyme, garlic, onions, lemons and other tasty things are all great additions to a brine, as is white wine, brandy or cognac. Pretty much anything you like to taste can be added to a brine, and instead of having a seasoned skin and flavorless meat, the flavors will get distributed all through the bird, making it delicious from the first bite to the last.

I really like Alaquinez's version of a brine, so I've reproduced it here in case you all didn't see it. Do you all brine poultry? Let us know what you put in yours down there in the comments.

TURKEY BRINE

7 quarts (28 C.) water
1 1/2 C. coarse salt
6 bay leaves
2 T. whole coriander seeds
1 T. dried juniper berries
2 T. whole black peppercorns
1 T. fennel seeds
1 tsp. black or brown mustard seeds
1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 lbs.), patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing
1 bottle dry Riesling
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch fresh thyme

Bring one quart water, the salt, bay leaves and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for five minutes.

Line a five-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining six quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag. If turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Michael Roberts

  • Little Rock Margarita Festival is coming May 4

    Cinco de Mayo. The holiday in which tequila is consumed in the United States in honor of a Mexican holiday that is not as widely celebrated in Mexico.
    • Mar 10, 2017
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: Indian Grocers, nerdcore documentaries, "Pepe the Frog" explainers, Anne Carson and more

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Oct 21, 2016
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: The Think Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week. In anticipation of Arkansas Times' Festival of Ideas this Saturday at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, we recommend things that make us think.
    • Sep 23, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • A sneak preview of Fourquarter Bar in Argenta

    A look at Fourquarter Bar in Argenta, brought to you by the folks behind Midtown Billiards. Beer, barbecue and killer cocktails abound!
    • Feb 23, 2016
  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation