November 23, 2010
Time to brine that turkey


By Chris Macias

Judging by the lines at the grocery store, we can tell that Turkey Time is coming soon. And if you're looking to add an extra dimension of flavor and moisture to your Thanksgiving bird, it will soon be time to brine that turkey as well.

Here's a recipe "Appetizers" just received from Pajo Bruich, a local boutique caterer and private chef known for his dinner series with Anani Lawson, the former French Laundry sommelier who's now at Per Se in New York City. Bruich says the sugar in the brine will help enhance the turkey's browning, and produce meat with overtones of herbs, apple and a touch of underlying sweetness. Serve with a glass of rosé or perhaps a pinot noir, and your tastebuds will be saying "thanks" as well.

Turkey Brine

32 cups ice water (2 gallons)
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
4 cup apple cider
24 bay leaves
2 bunch thyme
2 bunch sage, chopped
1/2 cup Tablespoons black peppercorns
4 green apple diced
6 cinnamon sticks
4 tablespoon candied ginger
zest and juice of 4 meyer lemon

Method: Bring 4 cups of water and one cup of cider to a boil with all other ingredients, except apples. Once sugar and salt is dissolved, pour the hot mix into a clean large pot, large enough to hold the turkey and the liquid. Add the remaining ice water, cider and apples and mix well. Make sure this is ice cold, then add the bird, making sure it is covered completely, and brine in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours. (You may have to put a pan on top pf the bird to keep him submersed.)

I find the above trick with ice water is the way to instant brining and not having to cool overnight prior to using.

After 12 hours, rinse the bird well, truss the bird and you are ready to bake as you normally would!

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