Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Maple-brine Turkey

When's dinner?
Originally uploaded by AviatorDave.
I seem to have piqued some curiosity about my Thanksgiving turkey recipe. "Brining" is simply marinating in salt water, which penetrates the meat well. This brine uses maple syrup and brown sugar; but it doesn't make the turkey salty, or overpower the flavor. It adds a subtle sweet flavor to the outer skin, and I find that it keeps the meat very moist; no dry turkey!


1-1/2 gallons (24 cups) water
1-1/2 cups maple syrup
1 cup salt
3/4 cup brown sugar

Mix all this up in a big stockpot at room temperature, plop in your turkey, and stick it in the 'fridge for 12-24 hours before cooking. (Discard the brine afterwards.) I use 325 degrees for three hours, for my usual 9-10 pound turkey; follow the directions for other sizes. I use a baking bag, and open it up for the last hour to crisp the skin. So far I've gotten a nice juicy bird every time.

Happy Thanksgiving!