So excited to prepare our first turkey, for our first Thanksgiving, in our new home... happy! I just made the brine. It is kind of an experiment really. Looked for inspiration on marthastewart.com , but ended up adding a bunch of random things in it. So curious, can't wait to see how it will taste. Getting hungry just thinking about that turkey now!
We went earlier and bought a small 10 pounds turkey. Brining is supposed to ensure your roast will be very moist and flavorful and means actually soaking the whole turkey in a solution of salt and water. Adding aromatics to it will only make the meat more flavorful. I read that you must brine it for an hour per pound of meat, so ours would be ready in 10 hours, but it would be just fine to keep it even longer. Some recommend 24 hours. Some keep it for 2-3 days even. Ours will stay around 12 hours, that should be enough I think.
This is how I made it:
Put in a pan 4 cups of water, 1 cup salt, 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, 1 tablespoon mustard seeds, 2 thyme stems, 4 bay leafs, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and bring to a simmer. Let aside to cool.
Line a large pot/container, ( larger than your turkey ) with a large brining or oven roasting bag. Place the room temperature turkey in, and pour over the mixture. Add a bottle of dry white wine, 1 large finely chopped onion, 4 crushed garlic cloves , 1 sliced orange, and 1 sliced lemon, 1 sliced carrot and some parsnip.
Complete with cold water until the whole turkey is covered. Make sure everything is well mixed and the turkey submerged in brine, filling the inside as well. Close tightly the bag, taking the air out as much as possible and secure with twine. Place in fridge overnight.
The next day take the turkey out, discard the brine. Pat dry the turkey and place on a roasting pan, breast side up.
I still didn't decide what to do next... will see tomorrow, it is 2 am so I am off to sleep :) and I have to roast this bird tomorrow, and bake a cake!