Thanksgiving Preparation- Brine

Today begins my first day of Thanksgiving dinner preparation.  It started after work when I ventured the wilds that are Whole Foods South Beach.  It was pretty hectic over there, I can only imagine what it’ll be like tomorrow!  There was no parking and I finally had to settle on a spot a block and a half away.

I’m sure it’s worth it though as I had reserved what looks to be a beautiful organic free range bird.  I had a friend who just moved back from Paris remind me that in 2009 when I was visiting he and his wife I commented on how amazing the turkey was that they found through their local Boucherie.  I said “it just tastes better after it has been running around.” It was the most amazing looking and tasting bird.  It was darker in color and didn’t have the slimy skin you get from our heavily processed birds.  There were also still a few quills in the bird.  It was just so wild.

My bird looks to be a bit more processed, but that’s OK that’s how we do it over here.  Upon getting home I began the brining process.  I planned on completing this step tomorrow, but I jumped the gun and thought I’d save myself some heart ache tomorrow.

My brine is basically the Alton Brown Good Eats Turkey recipe brine which I linked yesterday with a few additions.

2-32 oz. containers of vegetable stock
1-2 tbs of whole allspice berries
1 tbs whole black peppercorns
2 or 3 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 tbs ground ginger
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 gallon of water

Method: Combine first 8 ingredients (all except water and ice) in a stock pot and heat and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Allow to cool. Add water and ice.  Double bag turkey into clean (obviously) kitchen garbage bags.   Fill bag with brine and a bit more ice. Place in refrigerator.


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