This is the first year that I’m preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving, and so I’m going to do it my way – with a brine.
We decided on a fresh turkey instead of a frozen one. It’s from Plainfield Farms and was fed an all-natural, vegetarian diet. We’ve only ever had a frozen turkey, so I’m very excited to see how this turns out.
Also for the first time ever, I’m bringing the turkey. Brining will enhance the flavor and give it a crispier skin. I found quite a few different brining recipes but ended up taking ideas from several of them to make my own. All of these ingredients were already in my kitchen (peppercorns and allspice used in my summer canning recipes), but feel free to omit what you don’t have.
Simple Turkey Brine
- 1/4 cup black peppercorns
- 10 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp allspice
- 1 cup kosher salt
- One yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- Place your bird inside a very large stock pot or canning pot. Start filling it up with water until the turkey is submerged.
- Then, take the turkey out of the pot and set back in the refrigerator. I did this so I knew how much water I would need to fully cover it.
- You can skip this and just fill up the pot about 2/3 of the way with water if you like.
- Set the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil.
- Add peppercorns, bay leaves, allspice, kosher salt, onion, garlic, brown sugar, and rosemary. Stir to combine, then remove from the heat.
- Let cool completely before submerging your turkey. I filled up my sink with cold water and sat the stock pot in the water to help it cool.
- Wash your turkey, remove neck and giblets and submerge it in the brine. Refrigerate for 1 hour per pound. My turkey is 13 pounds, so I kissed it goodnight and said: “see you in the morning, sweet pea.”