MaVie's Brined Turkey

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

Brine:
2 gal. water
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar or 1-1/2 cup granulated [white]
sugar
1 head garlic, crushed
1-1/2 tablespoon whole black pepper
3 bay leaves

In a large pot large enough to hold the turkey,
combine all of the brine ingredients and stir to dissolve salt & sugar.
Add the turkey to the pot, cover. Refrigerate or leave outside in the cold for 8 - 10 hrs.
Remove the turkey from pot, rinse turkey well,
discard the brine.
Pat dry with paper towel. Rub with olive oil or
butter. set aside.

Roast turkey:
1 [10-12 lbs] turkey
1 small onion, quartered
2 celery rib or stalk, cut in 2" length
2-4 parsnips [white carrot], cut in 2" length
2-4 carrots, cut in 2" length

Preheat oven to 400 degrees for 15-20 mins.
Place all veggies inside
baking pan. place baking rock inside the baking
pan. place turkey in
the baking pan, breast facing down. bake for 1
hr. take turkey pan out, turn the breast side up. bake for another hr. watch closely after 45
min. if turkey browning too fast, lower the temp
to 375 degs. baked till evenly brown. Once evenly browned, about 2 hrs. later, take turkey out of the oven.
allow to rest for 30 mins. prior to cutting.

notes:
since my oven is not properly calibrated, oven
door does not close shot,

i leave temp to 400 degs all the way. be mindful
of how ur oven works.
i calculated 20 mins. per lb of turkey for cooking time. it is a good idea to take bones off the
turkey, prior to serving. this way too, u can cut
nice pieces or be able to freeze some for future use.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

Thanks tiG! appreciate that. now i can make it for the New Year celebration. am sure all the kids will love it.

edited to update the brine solution. only to make ingredients easier and simplify the ingredients, if not readily available.
this recipe is edited and updated to have all instructions in one place. this is done for those who does not want to go through the entire thread. i know it is long, sorry, but there are lots of tip also incorporated in the thread, not only from me but from others too. thanks everyone!!!!

Brine:
2 gal. cold water
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar or 1-1/2 cup granulated [white] sugar
1 head garlic, cut horizonally across middle
1 [1 oz.] packet Pickling Spice [available in the Latino herb section in all grocery stores.]

i used either a stock pot or a properly cleaned white 5 gal. bucket for brining.
place water inside the bucket or stock pot.
add the sugar and salt. take a wooden spoon and stir vigorously to blend both salt and sugar into the water.
add the pickling spices.
place the frozen turkey into the bucket.
brining depends on ur personal preference/s, the area where u live.
i brine for 3 days cuz that is how long it take for the turkey to thaw in my area.

Roast turkey:
1 [10-12 lbs] turkey
1 small onion, quartered
2 celery rib or stalk, cut in 2" length
2-4 parsnips [white carrot], cut in 2" length
2-4 carrots, cut in 2" length

Preheat oven to 400 degrees for 15-20 mins.
Place all veggies in baking pan.
Place baking rack inside the baking pan.
Put turkey breast down on the baking rack.
Roast for 1 hr., pull pan out, to facilitate turning the baking pan for even cooking roasting.
Pull out baking pan, turn turkey to have the breast facing up.
Roast for another hr: watch closely after 45 min. if turkey browning too fast, lower the temp to 375 degs. baked till evenly brown. Once evenly browned, about 2 hrs. later, take turkey out of the oven. cover with foil to retain the heat inside the roasted turkey.
Allow to rest for 30 mins. prior to cutting.*

notes:
since my oven is not properly calibrated, plus oven door does not close properly, i leave temp to 400 degs all the way. be mindful of how ur oven works! i calculated 20 mins. per lb of turkey for cooking time.

it is a good idea to take bones off the turkey, prior to serving. this way too, u can cut nice pieces or be able to freeze some for future use.

* any meat roasted in the oven, should be allowed to rest to avoid the juices from oozing out of the meat.

** do not worry about the salt and sugar content, the finished product will NOT be salty or sweet. the use of salt and sugar is only produce a moist and balance flavor on the turkey or meat [depending on what u are brining].

This message was edited Nov 8, 2006 2:28 PM

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

bumping up for the holiday preparation. i like to prepare ahead of time to plan the holidays menu. maybe some will give this recipe a try.

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9a)

Just a note of caution: Use anunadulterated turkey for this. Most turkeys, such as Butterball, are so full of chemicals,
tiG,


i've always just brined with salt and water and then roasted with white wine and butter and various spices. I can't wait to try your recipe. I'll probably try it with a chicken first though. I'm not sure who is hosting TG Day this year.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

adulterated or un-adulterated poultry, are all the same to me, i always wash the poultry/meat/fish in lemon and salt. then rinse thoroughly.

rinsing poultry, meat and/or seafood >>> always an assurance for any flavoring to penetrate into the meat/fish, specially when marinating or long slow cooking. using lemon and salt to rinse has been a common practice for centuries in Asian and So. American cooking!

sugar has been suggested for the brine, cuz not all cooks uses wine in cooking. sugar in this instance, does not have effect on the brining method. sugar has been used for balancing the flavor of the poultry.

this recipe worked for chickens too. believe me, i did a lot of test prior to sharing this recipe.

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9a)

Never tried the lemon and salt, just used regular water! YEAH!!! more cooking tips! I'm always on the lookout for ways to be a better cook. Someday, I hope to go to the chef school in Scottsdale, AZ.

I don't agree with the "treated" turkeys being the same, however. They have a weird aftertaste and texture.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

if u're interested in cooking tips, u should see all the post i have on recipes. i do pass on some tips here and there.

i never buy 'treated anything'! all my cooking method is from scratch. i learned cooking from both my grandmothers [1 is of Chinese origin, whilst the other 1 is of Spanish origin], plus all the experiences i learned and developed when i had a restaurant and catering business.

i never had any formal education in cooking, except from personal experiences. most of my cooking is based on all natural products. i do grow my own herbs and veggies when time permits.

Grove City, OH(Zone 6a)

A lot of the turkeys sold here are "pre-basted". They are injected with a solution of oil and water in an attempt to keep them moister during roasting. It doesn't work well, tho. I also try to avoid the food items that have been treated, because I have a lot of food allergies.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

i liked buying turkey in Asian stores. one has to make an appointment for the day of pick-up when they prepare the turkey on scheduled apptmt. that way i know i do get fresh turkey. sometimes, i buy them live and i dressed or clean them myself.

when i was a teenager, i used to raise and operate my own poultry farm.

or if not, order turkey from a regular butcher and give the butcher my specification to the turkey i am buying. make friends with ur local butcher. u'll be surprise with the extra service they give in return.

edited to correct spelling error.

This message was edited Nov 18, 2003 4:56 PM

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

I have been wanting to try brining for several years and what a great idea to start with a chicken!!! I think I may try this recipe this week. thanks for it MaVie...............

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

Can you deep fry a brined turkey?

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

i guess u can, but i have not tried it yet. as long as u know what u are doing, i guess it can be done. nothing is impossible. if u are going to try it, pls. be careful and let us know how it comes out.

Kell... yes u can try the recipe on chicken too. bakes some potatoes on the side while u're at it. am sure ur DH will love it. he may not take u out to dinner anymore and ask u to cook more of it... hehehehehe

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

LOL MA Vie.... he is hte real cook in the house. he much prefers his cooking to mine!

CC......... have you had a deep fried turkey?? I saw these huge pots at HD with a propane tank to do this. The oil alone would bankrupt you I would think. what is it like?

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

well Kell, this time u can prove to ur DH, u are far better cook than he is. just don't give away ur secrets... hehehehe

yeah, i've seen those deep fryers displayed @ HD. i have watch on tv how turkey deep frying is done, i think one has to be extra precautious with those boiling hot oil. personally, i doubt if i will even try. i like the easy way to cook.

deep frying turkey, one can not put any stuffings inside the bird. instead, u can dry rub the bird and allow the dry rub to marinate over night... so the fried turkey will be flavorful.

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

The deep fried turkey is GREAT,so juicy!.It really easy .The oil is expensive but you strain it and store it(the sell special strainers)You can use the oil again 10 or more times.Ya gotta do it outside so when its nasty out or you gotta do it the oven way.

The only problem is that sometimes the wings and legs get a little over cooked,but the rest is great.We marinate in something called "Bucks Seasoning" that they make up here.
Some people just buy a Turkey breast to use in the Deep Fryer.

I'm gunna try MaVies Brine for the next turkey...

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

CC.. u can refresh the 'used' oil by using some potatoes that has sprouted. place the potatoes on the oil while still hot. the potato will absorb all the 'flavor' that is embedded on the oil. soon as the oil gets cooler, discard the potato >>> do not eat potato cause it will have an unpleasant taste, but ur oil will be fresh. u can also use onion skins... about 2-3 layers of the onion skin.

u can also make ur own dry rub or seasoning. the combination is enormous... mostly depending on the flavor ur taste bud appeal too.

dry rub or seasoning are different combinations of herbs and spices. they sure help a lot in improving the taste of food when marinated.

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Reused oil is supposed to be a real health hazard.......not to throw a blanket on deep fat frying!!
this is what I found
"Whilst frying with any oil, trans-fatty acids are formed. These fatty acids behave more like saturated fats and actually raise total cholesterol levels, particularly LDL-cholesterol.

It is important to regularly change the cooking oil used in deep-fat fryers since its trans-fatty acid concentration increases each time it is heated."

I am trying to do better............ LOL, it is hard!!! I wonder if MaVie's potato does anything to the trans fatty acids?

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

Who cares if it tastes good?.....LOL
Anyhow,I love trans.....ams

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

CC.............. you are probably a skinny little thing............. with low cholesterol........... LOL I have to do better or I will be tree fertilizer!!! I want you to eat an extra serving of that turkey for me. I would love to try it!!!

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

Kell, recyling frying oil is only recommended after FIRST use!!! after the 2nd use it is supposed to be discarded properly! i do not recommend reusing after 1st recyling of oil. aside from some undue health hazard, recyled oil go rancid faster than regular oil.

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

LOL CC...... ijus tgot your trans ams............. I am so slow!

Yes, I had heard that Ma Vie...... can you tell me why all the great tasting food I crave is the kind that kills me???

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

Kell, the key in staying healthy from my point of view is to eat in moderation. i do not believe in dieting myself. i do not deprive myself of food i crave to eat... just eat in moderation... eating a bit at a time, and not stuff myself at all.

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

you are right MaVie, you are right! I agree totally. Now tell my hands and mouth that!! LOL

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

well Kell, if u ever noticed! when u go to 1st class restaurants, they serve u a little of everything. not to wet ur appetite but to allow u to savor the delicacy of food being serve. same principle ;)!

the only hurtful part is, the food is so good yet very expensive. i love exploring 1st class restaurant not only to have a taste of the food they serve, but also con the chef into giving me the recipe. oh yeah u can do that! just pretend u are familiar with some of the ingredients in the dish. in no time at all, u will find the chef to sit down with u and give u the ran down of the entire recipe. slick but it works all the time. LOL!!!!

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

to me the only hurtful part is that it tastes so good I want much more!!!

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

i hear yah girl friend!!! try the feminine fatale charm. it works for me LOL!!!

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

LOL MA VIE

Moorestown, NJ(Zone 7b)

I've got a far better and healthier way to cook a turkey (and get crisp skin!) than deep frying - use a SPANEK vertical roaster! I don't know how I EVER cooked a turkey or chicken w/o one of these things!!

Here's a link for them: http://www.spanek.com/ROASTE~1.HTM
They are also available at places like Linens and Things and Williams/Sonoma stores.

They are absolutely the easiest way to cook a turkey or chicken and the meat is tender and juicy - the skin is crisp and flavorful!!! Never fails!!! I baste mine with white wine as well and it is always scrumptious. (And yes, a fresh turkey is far better than the 'commercial' ones!).
Here is the "Principles" of vertical roasting: http://www.spanek.com/PRINCI~1.HTM

I brine my poultry too, but I add celery and onion to my brine mix first. ALso, if you don't have a pot big enough to keep the turkey in the brine overnight, a large plastic (clean of course!) garbage bag will do, tied real tight. Do make sure you keep it COLD (in the fridge or basement) for health reasons! (If I were to leave it outside here, the critters would have it instead of me)!

Happy cooking and Thanksgiving ya'll!

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

i do not have those fancy cooking equipment like i once had. i improvised using a cake cooler rack over a rectangular cake pan - where all juices flow through.

crispy skin can be attained by sealing the skin at 400-500*F oven for 30 mins. then reducing to 300-350*F to thoroughly cook inside the meat for the alloted time of cooking. sealing the meat allows the natural juices of whatever meat u are cooking to stay inside the meat itself.

i would not recommend using fresh onion. dried onions should be okay. fresh onions has some kind of chemical reaction. sorry i am not technically knowledgable on these things. in fact, in using fresh onions on salad, i mince the onions finely. place the minced onions in cheese cloth and squeeze out all the natural juices off the onion. the natural juice of onions is what makes some people develop stomach ache or get sick. things one knows by experiences. squeezing the natural juices of the onion, also make the onion super crunchy.

the salt on the brine does not agree with bacteria, so i would not worry about it at all. just my 2 cents.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

i used the brine recipe above to test it on frozen chicken. after brining the chicken overnight. i cut the chicken in half, sort of butterfly style. spread the chicken with the bones next to the wire rack [skin side up], roast in the oven at 400*F for 20 mins. lower the temperature to 350*F for the next 20 mins. the end result was close to the flavor of broasted chicken. the chicken is very moist and flavorful. another healty recipe to substitute fried chicken without the fat.

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

I got home from work yesterday and my DH had brined our fresh turkey as a surprise for me and it is sitting in a cooler on the backporch as I type. I CAN'T WAIT!! YUM!

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

Sorry,Chuck insisted we use bucks seasoning on ours ..

and DEEP FRY

I was the best!

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

don't worry CC, so long as u Thanksgiving dinner turned out fine is all that matters.

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Ours was great also. My son thought it was the best one yet. I thought my DH was clever to put it in a cooler on the backporch with some frozen coolents to keep it cool. thanks Ma Vie

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

glad everyone enjoyed it :). wasn't that an easy way to prepare a moist and savory turkey, without all the hard work? always a pleasure to share kitchen short cuts :)!

Grove City, OH(Zone 6a)

MaVie, it was voted the BEST turkey anyone had ever had! Unfortunately I calculated the cooking time wrong, and it was done an hour sooner than I had figured. But even keeping it warm the extra time it stayed moist and tender and absolutely wonderful!

I will calculate better for our Christmas one (it is the size you gave: 11 lbs). Yesterdays' was a 7 lb bird.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

Kathy, u probably failed to see the note above. 20 mins. per lb of turkey to calculate cooking time. am so glad to hear everyone liked it :). now u can try the same brine recipe with chicken. instruction 6 threads above this one. am sure u will like it too.

Jones Creek, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks MaVia for e-mailing me about this...I'm gonna bump this thread so yall will remember to do this .........I love this thread and read it for begining to end.......so much good information.....I'm gonna do my turkey like this for our dinner.......Yummy, Yummy....... :o)
Dee

Jones Creek, TX(Zone 9a)

Oh and I was gonna ask.....the first few ingredents of the brine
Brine:
2 gal. water
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar or 1-1/2 cup granulated [white]
sugar
1 head garlic, crushed
1-1/2 tablespoon whole black pepper
3 bay leaves

Do you have to boil this first and let it cool? It may have been in the post and I missed it.......LMK......
Dee

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

no need to boil. i used a big stock pot to sort of marinate the turkey in the brine.

fill the stock pot with 2 gal. water, add the salt and sugar. be sure to stir thoroughly until salt and sugar dissolves completely.

i never defrost turkey, chicken or cornish hen. i place the frozen poultry inside the stock pot filled with brine and flavoring.

cut one whole head of garlic in half. drop into the brine.

i find that instead of using whole black pepper and 3 bay leaf, it is much better to use pickling spice [adds extra flavor overall]. a small bag cost only $0.99 cents. i use the entire thing, pepper and all. do not worry, the pepper will not affect ur brine, it will only add more flavor.

i have some cornish and chicken on this brine as we speak. it is a favorite recipe around the house all year long.

be sure to put a plate over the poultry and something heavy to weigh it down. otherwise the poultry will be floating above the brine and will not be flavored properly.

Dee hope u try it, u will be everyone's favorite after u serve this to ur family. lmk how it turns out... ma vie

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