Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

brining and cooking the bird - turkey

Recipe by
Bonnie Beck
Route 66, AZ

Turkey is my favorite... I was never crazy for my mother's Turkey. She always bought a Tom which to me the white meat is a tad dry. But then my mother always over cooked her meats. Sometimes it bordered on charcoal. Through the years I have cook many difference recipes and always stuck to Hens. This year for some reason there was a storage of turkeys. I ended up with a 19 pound Tom. I knew brining kept fowl moist so I thought I would give it a try. This is the recipe I made up, fell in love with and will always use. My son, Jon said, when I make turkey to use this recipe.

yield serving(s)
prep time 12 Hr
cook time 5 Min
method Roast

Ingredients For brining and cooking the bird - turkey

  • 1
    turkey or turkey parts
  • 1 c
    packed brown sugar or maple sugar
  • 1 gal
    apple juice, unsweetened or apple cider
  • 3/4 c
    table salt
  • 3
    fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 3
    fresh bay leafs
  • 8
    fresh leaves of sage
  • 1
    fresh sprig of rosemary
  • cold filtered or distilled water
  • 6
    cracked peppercorns (i do this with a rubber mallot and a small paper bag)
  • 1 Tbsp
    boiled apple cider
  • 6
    cloves of garlic, minced
  • left over turkey dripping and the fat
  • turkey stock
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • paprika, sweet mild

How To Make brining and cooking the bird - turkey

  • 1
    Lightly crush by hand the Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Bay Leafs. Then "Blossom the herbs in a dry fry pan."
  • 2
    Add apple juice, boiled cider, sugar, pepper and salt to a pan. Bring to boil and then simmer until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from heat add in the herbs, garlic and then cool completely.
  • 3
    In a large container added your clean turkey and pour the brine into the cavity and down the sides. Add the chilled distilled or purified water till it covers the turkey. Let sit in brine 12 hours or longer. Turn the turkey so the breast is upside down in the brine. Or do as I do. I brine my turkey in a large enamel stock pot that I have boiled and cooled the brine in.
  • 4
    Pour the brine off and rinse turkey inside and out. And dry with paper towels, or as I do Flour Sack towel. (these I place in hot bleached water then in the washing machine once I have dried the turkey.
  • 5
    This is where you get your turkey fat and drippings Or you can do as I do at Thanksgiving. I buy wings and roast them with salt, pepper, paprika and butter, Once they are cooked then I save the drippings and cook the wings in water with a tad of celery, salt, pepper and a carrot to make a broth.
  • 6
    Take the fat and rub the turkey inside and out. If you have enough fat rub it under the skin. Sprinkle with lightly salt, pepper and paprika inside and outside the turkey. Fold the tip of the wings under the turkey and place turkey breast side down on a rack. Add some Turkey stock to the bottom of roasting pan. (Optional) you can add a celery sprig, carrot and onion to the bottom of the pan if you like) Roast at 325*, turn turkey, once it is golden brown on bottom, to breast side up. Baste every once in a while. Finish roasting.... If turkey starts to brown too fast...tent with tin foil.
  • 7
    Let turkey rest for 15-30 minutes before carving.

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