Brining That Bird!

Recipe Rating:
 3 Ratings
Serves: 10
Prep Time:
Cook Time:


12-14 lb turkey
1 - 2 c salt, kosher preferred
6 sprig(s) fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 bottle white wine or apple juice
water to cover
2 onions, chunked
2 carrots, chunked
2 ribs celery
1 bunch assorted fresh herbs
3-4 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1 qt chicken stock (give or take)

The Cook

Sherry Peyton Recipe
Well Seasoned
Las Cruces, NM (pop. 97,618)
Member Since Jul 2011
Sherry's notes for this recipe:
Yes, it's extra work. But the results are so spectacular that you will never go back again. Brining makes your turkey so juicy, that even the "hate that dry meat" folks will be beggin' for more. I'll give you directions on how to prepare and roast it as well! If you like this recipe, see my website at
Make it Your Way...

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The most important element to the brine is the salt. Use whatever herbs or liquids you choose. Plain water is fine. You want to start this by 7 am the DAY BEFORE you are roasting. Dissolve the salt in couple of cups of water and then let cool. Use a large 10 gallon container, or a freezer container that has been cleaned. You can line with a large garbage bag (not a scented one!)
Place the turkey and the herbs and so forth in the bag, remove the giblets from the turkey and place in the container. Fill with the brine and water/wine until bird is covered.
This must be kept below 40 degrees! So refrigerate, ice the freezer container, or place in an unheated garage (if you live in a cold climate and the temps are staying below 40.) Cover the container, place a weight on top if you have to worry about animals.
Leave for 12 hours. So at 7 pm you are ready to remove. Drain the bird until it stops dripping. Then place in a container UNCOVERED and place in fridge for 12 hours.
Remove fridge, and allow to sit covered loosely until ready for the oven. Fill the cavity with the fresh herbs. Cut up the onions, carrots and celery. Add chicken stock or water so veggies won't burn.
Prepare the bird by tying up legs and tucking in wings. Grease with butter on the outside or with olive oil. Place in a v-rack BREAST SIDE DOWN. Roast at 400 for 45 min.
Remove from oven, baste with juices from pan, and give the bird a quarter turn (one wing up)Return for 15 minutes. Remove and repeat with another quarter turn, (breast down) for another 15 minutes. Remove and repeat with another quarter turn, (the other wing up), for 15 minutes, and then finally remove and return to breast side down, and roast until temperature is 175 in thigh. --about 30-45 minutes.
When done, remove from oven, tent foil over the bird and let set for at least 30 minutes before touching. (it will hold for a good hour anyway.) Slice and serve.
Remove the veggies from the roasting pan and use the drippings and stock to make the gravy along with the giblets.
The basic idea of brining can be used for any poultry, just adjust the amounts of salt and liquid of course. Great for geese and duck and chicken of course!

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user deb baldwin messinthekitchen - Nov 9, 2011
Interesting.....I saw a cooking channel that brined pork chops.
A turkey would be great!..a save for me!
user Karla Everett Karla59 - Nov 9, 2011
I have heard of brined chicken and turkey , I haven't done it as of yet but I do plan on it soon , Thanks for the recipe...saved :D
user Sherry Peyton SherryPeyton - Nov 10, 2011
Deb, I've also seen Alton Brown brine porkchops. We find them so tender here in Iowa that I've never see the need for it. But I sure have seen how brining poultry just really makes a huge difference. We thought we had scored big when we smoked a turkey, but this was frankly better!

Karla, I hope you do. It's messy of course, but boy we just can't stop raving about the outcome. Using those roasting bags makes the bird very juicy too, but at the expense of a nice crispy skin I find. lol..
user deb baldwin messinthekitchen - Nov 10, 2011
Better than smoked? Okay..I will try this for one of my turkey days..
Thanks for the information!

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