I started brining the Thanksgiving turkey five years ago. Once I did, there was no turning back. Nothing makes a turkey (chicken, or pork chops) more juicy and flavorful than the process of brining.
If your turkey is thawed, it's still not too late! Clean it thoroughly, drag out your biggest pot, and follow these directions.
How to Brine a Turkey
1 14-16 pound turkey
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 gallon unfiltered apple cider
1/2 gallon water
10 black peppercorns
10 allspice berries
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 sprig fresh rosemary, stripped of leaves
2 bay leaves
1 gallon ice water
Combine the first six brine ingredients in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve salt and sugar. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and refrigerate until ready to begin the brining process.
Combine brine, ice water, baby apples, rosemary leaves, and bay leaves in a LARGE pot (I use a canning pot). Place the clean, thawed turkey, breast side down in liquid to cover and refrigerate 10-18 hours.
When ready to roast, remove from brine. Rinse turkey inside and out, pat dry, and proceed as you usually would. You will have a wonderfully flavorful bird and a delicious gravy.
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