To brine or not to brine: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The sneers and snickers of a dried out turkey,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
That is the famous question posed by Hamlet – OK maybe not exactly that way. But seriously, do you brine your turkey or what other methods do you use to keep it moist and give it flavor?
I always wanted to brine a turkey, but I will be honest – I could not get past the issue of what to put it in and how to keep it cold. Then I also heard that the texture can change. Then last year I found an article about dry brining and I WILL NEVER GO BACK. To say that my turkey last year was divine is an understatement. I highly recommend you give it a try – I am doing it again this year.
UPDATE – sorry I meant to include how to… oops – Basically you want to rub the turkey inside and out with 1 TBS Kosher salt (you can add other poultry seasoning, but it is the salt that matters) for every 5lbs of turkey. Then seal it is a bag and refrigerate. It is best to have 3 days to do it, but any time is good. Once per day, massage the juices back into the turkey (just run through the bag). If you can, you can also flip it over, but it is not critical). So do that fro 2 – 3 days. The day before you are going to cook it, unseal the bag and let it dry out in the refrigerator.
On cooking day – thoroughly RINSE the bird and prepare as usual. Sometimes this is when I add the poultry seasoning – but do not add more salt!
Now I may totally suck (excuse the language, but there really is no other word, stink just does not cut it) at regular meal planning, but holidays – LOVE planning those. My only issue is I take on too much and try way too many new recipes. This Thanksgiving will follow suit. Here is my proposed Thanksgiving menu in addition to my divinely dry brined turkey:
- To Die For Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes – had these last year – YUMMMM!
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes – from Once a Month Mom’s Holiday eCookbook
- Green Bean Casserole – love the idea of Pioneer Woman’s twist on the classic
- Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce – my husband saw this on Food Network and HE wants to make it :)
- Stuffing – still debating recipes – LOL!
- Cole Slaw
Others will bring desserts but I may try Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from Erin at 5 Dollar Dinners.
So what about you – are you ready and do you brine your turkey?