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Who's brining their bird?

I just finished putting the turkey in it's brine to prep for Thanksgiving dinner. I've used this method for the past 3-4 years and the turkey turns out moist and delicious. The beauty of this is you can start it with a frozen turkey and defrost it in the brine a couple of days ahead of time.

My rough guesstimate recipe:

  1. 18# bird placed into 2 roasting bags in roasting pan to hold everything together. Tie the bags up when it's filled with the brine.
  2. 7 cups water
  3. 2 qts apple cider
  4. 2/3 cup kosher salt
  5. 1/3 cup sugar
  6. 1 large chopped sweet onion (I use Texas 1015 onions)
  7. 1 large head of garlic, cut in half on the equator
  8. 2 large carrots, diced
  9. 3 stalks celery, chopped
  10. 2 bunches of rosemary
  11. 2 bunches of sage
  12. 6-7 bay leaves

When ready to cook it, just drain all the brine and roast it as normal.


For those of you that brine your bird, what do you use?

Cheers!
 
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sounds like a great recipe..

im surprised no thyme was used in your herb mix , but some prefer sage instead i suppose!

im curious how long you leave your bird in this delicious brine for?
 
I will usually put it into the brine on either Monday night or Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving. I go back and forth on the thyme.
 
If I were cooking the turkey it would be a brine or a salt rub. But my mom is old school and just does a straight roast. I take care of the side dishes.
 
This year bought a trader joes brined bird based on last years turkey quit good. My wife still does her butter herbs salt pepper good bird.
 
I use Alton Brown's recipe. It's simple. Brine for about 24 hours then smoke it the next day.
+1 - I use the same recipe, but don't get to brine for as long as I would like. The bird is defrosting at my weekend place a few hours away. He'll go for a swim overnight and I'll cook him for the evening meal.
 
This is called a "chocolate" turkey. More of a heritage breed that isnt genetically designed to have a fat white meat breast, and when cooked has more dark meat. The biggest difference between heritage breeds and the genetically modified ones from the 70s is they take longer to grow to full size. This one is 1.5 yrs old and about 25 lbs. It is a free range pasture bird with the rest of my chickens picking up bugs, eating grass, and veg based table scraps from the house. It gets the nightly cracked corn and scratch. Since Sept or so I have been shutting it in the chicken house over night where it can load up on cracked corn and scratch all night and graze during the day.
Lovely looking bird! what breed is that ? and did you pasture raise it yourself?

Also curious what you fed it as a supplement feed if applicable?
 
This is called a "chocolate" turkey. More of a heritage breed that isnt genetically designed to have a fat white meat breast, and when cooked has more dark meat. The biggest difference between heritage breeds and the genetically modified ones from the 70s is they take longer to grow to full size. This one is 1.5 yrs old and about 25 lbs. It is a free range pasture bird with the rest of my chickens picking up bugs, eating grass, and veg based table scraps from the house. It gets the nightly cracked corn and scratch. Since Sept or so I have been shutting it in the chicken house over night where it can load up on cracked corn and scratch all night and graze during the day.

Thank you for sharing... I am extremely passionate about heritage breeds, (vegetables included) as well as pasture raised animals. For years i have supported local small time farmers who truly care about what they do.

It was a true pleasure reading your paragraph dictating your real love for connecting with the earth and your dinner.

Inspirational to say the least!! Please do share pics of the roast ! :D
 
Not a problem. When I first started this endeavor, I would sell to local people who appreciated natural/organic/free range animals. But those who are looking for something like this will pay a premium as that is what they are worth. Those who just want a piece of meat on the table dont recognize what goes into bringing something like this to their table.

As far as pictures of the roast, it wont look like a TV commercial as I do mine differently. I also wanted to share this method with the forum. I only have a small family of 3 so I only fix the legs and wings as that is enough for us the first meal and we freeze the main carcass of the bird, with one caveat. We split our down the center, cutting the back bone out as we go. When cooked in the electric roaster oven it allows the meat to cook more thouroghly and even. I just lay both halves side by side in the roaster (cavity side down) and I dont have to worry about flipping or rolling it. The biggest problem I faced cooking it whole is my birds were to big to fit in the roaster and the lid wouldnt close. I had to just put the whole pan in the oven covered in aluminum foil. Splitting it allows the whole thing to fit and cook through more evenly.

Happy Turkey day everyone.
 
i do hope to be able to produce my own quality food one day.

Its unfortunate its illegal to have chickens in my city (odd by law)
 
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