Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Herb and Salt Brined Turkey - The dry brine process begins

Herb and Salt Brined Turkey
(Source: Fine Cooking Magazine)

2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
One 16-lb. turkey, preferably fresh (not kosher or self-basting)
2 oz. kosher salt (1/2 cup if using Diamond Crystal; 1/4 cup if using Morton)

This year I thought I would make the same recipe for the turkey that I did last year and absolutely loved. Last year, I found just what I wanted to try in a magazine I picked up based on the cake on the front page…LOL! Herb and Salt Brined Turkey will be my turkey for years to come, even if we fry turkey ~ this tasty bird will still make an appearance for the holidays! The herbs smelled so intoxicating and make me feel like the holidays are upon us. This brine process was over 3 days, I really took my time getting the herbs onto the flesh of the bird, the house smelled so fragrant and delightful. If you are looking for a new twist for your bird, give this one a try. Before we can get ahead of ourselves, lets spend some time getting to know our bird shall we?

1. Clean your bird as you normally would, removing the neck and giblets/livers from the canal of the bird. Place the bird in your roasting bag.

2. Lift the skin of the bird starting at the breast cavity and moving both outward toward the legs of the bird and back toward the neck of the bird.

3. Place herbs on a cutting sheet.

4. Chop herbs roughly and add them to a glass bowl.

5.Add a small pinch of the kosher salt to the olive oil and herbs and mix together well with your hands (free utensils).

6. In several small handfuls, add the herbs to the bird under the skin, move around as much as possible to ensure the entire flesh of the bird has been layered with a little bit of the herbs (my mouth is watering already).

7. To the skin of the bird and canal of the bird, add a small bit of kosher salt.

8. Refrigerate the turkey (I like to double bag my turkey, turning it over every day, for 3 days. I start out with my turkey breast down on the first night and I turn the turkey over at the exact 24 hour mark; which means I get to come and turn a turkey over at midnight for the next two nights LOL!

I'm ahead of myself just a little bit but...
Remove the turkey from the bags and pat dry. Put it in a flameproof roasting pan and refrigerate, unwrapped, to let the turkey air-dry overnight (for the fourth day).

Roast the turkey (when we get to that point of the process)
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F. Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F in the thickest part of a thigh, about 2 hours. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle. If making the gravy, do so while the turkey rests.

Stay tuned for the rest of my adventure with this bird, I have been thinking about this turkey for a few days now. 


Our Delightful Home said...

I was looking forward to this recipe.

Thanks for sharing!

~Mrs. Delightful

Shades of Summer said...

Mrs. Delightful~ I am so excited... I hope you get a chance to try it.

Mrs. Chic said...

The turkey looks good, love the fresh herbs you used! Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

This is a great tutorial for someone that has never cooked a turkey before...loved the spices too:-)

Simple Home Living said...

I like using fresh herbs as well. Happy Thanksgiving!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Hi Summer! I just came across your blog this morning. What a great site you have! I am now your newest follower; and I hope you will follow me, too! Happy Thanksgiving!

Shades of Summer said...

Shenita! Hello and thank you soo much for stopping by my little blog! I will be joining yours right now. Take Care.

Towards the Horzon said...

Wow! That turkey looks amazing. You must be an awsome cook :)

Shades of Summer said...

Angela, I try to be.