Tis the season to be...Thankful. Ha, I tricked you. Now that Halloween has ended, you're seeing and hearing Christmas everywhere. I bet you're thinking, "Christmas already?" No, its not time for Christmas, "they" are completely forgetting a holiday. A very special holiday, that is about family and friends coming together. A Holiday that is about being grateful for everything you have been blessed with this year. A holiday to be thankful. Yes, That's right, they are forgetting the holiday to stuff our faces and laugh with our friends. Its Turkey Time, Y'all!
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The turkey is the star of the show and the worst thing that could happen on Thanksgiving is a dry turkey. Since it doesn’t have a lot of fat to help keep the meat from becoming dry and tough, it needs some help to be juicy and falling off the bone.
This is where brining comes in. A brine is a basic solution of water and salt. By giving our turkey a luxurious dunk in this solution, we can actually coax a bit more moisture and flavor into our meal before it’s ready to roast.
How to Brine a Turkey:
Only brine turkeys that have not been pre-salted, which should be clearly stated on the label. Do not use turkeys labeled “kosher,” “enhanced,” or “self-basting.” Brining these would result in an over-salted turkey. If your label doesn’t give any indication that it has been pre-treated, then it’s safe to assume you’re clear to proceed.
- Find a pot and make fridge space. Find a pot or food-safe bucket large enough that you will be able to entirely submerge the turkey.
- Place the turkey in the pot. Unwrap your turkey and remove the giblets, then transfer it to the pot. Add any aromatics you'd like to use.
- Mix the brine solution. Heat 1 quart of water in the microwave until warmed — it doesn't need to come to a boil, just be warm enough to dissolve the salt. Add the salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Let the liquid cool slightly; it's fine if it's still a touch warm.
- Pour the brine solution over the turkey.
- Pour 3 quarts of cold water over the turkey. This dilutes the salt solution to the best ratio for brining and also helps further cool the solution.
- Make sure the turkey is completely submerged. If needed, prepare more brine solution at a ratio of 1/4 cup salt per quart of water to completely submerge the turkey.
- Cover and refrigerate. If the turkey floats, weigh it down with a dinner plate.
- Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
- Rinse the turkey in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Clean your sink thoroughly after doing this step to avoid cross-contamination.
- If you have time, let the turkey air-dry overnight in the refrigerator. Place the turkey on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent cross contamination. This drying step will give your turkey crispier skin.
- Rub it with any spices you were planning to use.
- Roast as usual, but check your turkey early. You can roast the turkey either immediately after brining or after air-drying. I've found that brined turkeys tend to cook a bit more quickly, so roast as usual, but start checking the turkey's temperature an hour before the end of your estimated cooking time.
Now you have the secret to making the most delicious Turkey ever.
This is a very special Thanksgiving, its the first one after Lockdown when we were socially distancing from our loved ones. Now, we get to be together, HUG each other, and just spend the quality time together that makes this holiday great. If you are unable to safely celebrate the holiday with friends and family, send them a Twana's Creation Gift Basket. Its a great way to show you care to everyone on your Grateful List.
Whether it be a classic wine basket or a whimsical scarecrow, our Fall Collection has the perfect basket for anyone.