In the process of brining a 20b fresh, all natural turkey.
For the brine (x recipe by 1.5):
For the aromatics:
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 gallon vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
- 1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
- 1 gallon iced water.
- 1 red apple, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup water
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 6 leaves sage
- Canola oil
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.
A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.
Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.
*I had a circular cooler (apx. 5 gal). The bird fit perfectly in it, vertically. I then poured the brine and water to submerge the turkey and sealed the cooler and placed in the fridge to sit overnight.
See attached pics. (More to follow tomorrow after it's cooked).....
That turkey looks delicious. I've never had a brined turkey, but I've heard nothing but good stories about them. I may have to do one in the next few weeks. I definately couldn't fit a large bucket in my fridge, so I would have to go the basement route (or garage). Did you do any temp checks of the brine after it sat for 6 hrs in your basement? I'm a little concerned about bacteria....(although you havn't posted of you/your family getting sick )
Back when I brined my turkeys, I would just cut about a gallon of water out of the brine and pour the warm brine over a bag of ice in the cooler. Its just faster that way.After making the brine, I let it sit in the fridge until completely cooled down before pouring over the turkey. The turkey can be stored in anything, such as a food grade 5 gallon bucket or one of those giant ziplock bags used for clothing storage. I didn't have either, so I just used a cooler.