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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Apple Bourbon Turkey Brine

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
    Brining your bird is the best way to avoid the meat being too dry. Turkey is easily over cooked and the breast can be especially prone to drying out. That's why soaking poultry in a brine helps keep the meat moist.
    A brine is simple to do and many variations are possible. The base is some type of liquid, herbs and veggies or fruit. Use what you have in stock, but just do it. It does make a difference.
    I happened to have some extra apples and we were going to use apple chips to smoke the bird, so making a brine from apple juice with a little bourbon for some extra zing seemed like the thing to do.

Apple Bourbon Brine
1 large plastic baking bag or stock pot with lid, big enough for turkey breast
2 cups apple juice
1/4 pt. bourbon (about 1/4 cup)
3 baby carrots
1 stalk celery, cut in thirds
1 small onion, quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. peppercorns

2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried rosemary or 1 T. fresh
1 apple, cut into quarters or sixths
2 cups water at least
6-7 lb. turkey breast

The day before cooking, brine bird. Remove all wrappings and any miscellaneous parts from bird and rinse well. Put plastic bag in a large plastic bowl or use a stock pot with a lid.

In large bowl or mixing cup, combine all brine ingredients. Stir very well to dissolve sugar. Pour over bird in bag or pot. Make sure bird is covered. Add extra water if needed and rotate bird occasionally. Let set in refrigerator 12-24 hours or over night.

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