Tips, video and photography provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.
Everyone looks forward to turkey at the holidays and today I am here to show you my all time favorite way to prepare this seasonal bird. It’s foolproof and delicious and after you take your first bite, I promise that you’ll never prepare it any other way.
Brining is a fantastic way to incorporate tons of delicious flavor into anything you cook including pork butt, steak, chicken and, of course, turkey for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other winter holiday.
A lot of folks tend to be intimidated by brining, but I promise you, it is so easy! The first thing we are going to do is make that brine.
How to Make a Brine
- To a very large pot, add in 1 gallon of apple cider. This is going to add so much flavor to the turkey.
- Next add in 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of brown sugar. A great rule of thumb when creating a brine is to follow a 1:1 ratio, so always add one cup of salt for every one gallon of liquid.
- Now it’s time for the aromatics. What you add is up to you, but I recommend garlic cloves, onion, black peppercorns and fresh thyme sprigs.
- Bring the liquid to a boil so the salt and sugar dissolve into the brine.
- Once boiling, take the pot off of the burner and pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket or a brining bag.
- To cool the brine and add a bit more liquid, add one gallon of ice cubes to the bucket or bag.
How to Brine a Turkey
- Place the whole, uncooked turkey into the brine until it is completely submerged. To ensure that the turkey remains submerged, place a few plates on top to force it down.
- Place the bucket with the turkey and brine in the refrigerator for 24 hours, or up to 48 hours.
- Remove the bucket from the refrigerator on the morning of the day when you plan to cook and serve the turkey.
- Take the turkey out of the brine, allow it to drain and place it in a sanitized sink to rinse excess brine from the skin.
How to Cook a Brined Turkey
- Place the rinsed turkey into a large pan and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Place in the oven at 325˚F for about 15 – 20 minutes per pound.
That’s all there is to it! Brined turkeys have the most beautiful golden brown color when they’re finished cooking and, as you can see, they’re incredibly simple to make.
You will wow all of the guests at your table with the flavor and color of this delicious holiday bird.