Wednesday, November 22, 2006
‘Tis the day before Thanksgiving and I am up at 4:30am in order to brine the 25.9LB organic, pastured, hormone and antibiotic free, locally raised (by Dale Filbrun) turkey. So far I have gotten the turkey out of the fridge in the barn and have bleached out a cooler. Now I am Googling a brine recipe because it has been over a year since I have brined a bird of any kind.
Brining is simple, it is a salt and sugar and water solution that you put a chicken, duck, turkey or any meat into to soak for 4 to 24 hours. I will be doing a 6 hour brine so I can get the turkey into the oven by around 2pm today so I am not up all night with the bird. Brining tenderizes the meat by removing all the blood and replacing that with a salty sweet solution via osmosis. This also means the bird will roast more evenly and all the meat will be moist. In other words brining prepares the bird to roast up in the most foolproof perfect way there is.
It is now 5:50am and the turkey is in a cooler full of a salt and sugar solution (2 cups kosher salt and 1/4 cup sugar per 2 gallons of water repeated 4 times to almost cover the turkey in the cooler (he's a big boy but not quite a birdzilla). Upon reading full brining instructions I find I am supposed to brine a turkey 12 to 24 hours. This one will get 7 to 8 hours and that will have to be enough time to remove the blood and replace it with a sweet salty solution (this tastes a lot better than it sounds, really). otherwise I will be getting up at around 5am tomorrow to get the bird in the oven and have it done by 11am so we can eat around noon or 1pm on Thursday. I don't want to do this because I will need the oven for things like the garlic cheddar biscuits and dressing I am making and a couple of pies Eugene will be making.