Wednesday, August 4, 2010

call me a Brine-o

I've always been non-plussed by roast turkey. Thanksgiving meals had me headed straight for the stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce - but this past Thanksgiving was different. With a nursing, dairy intolerant 7 month old, I couldn't have the grand majority of traditional Thanksgiving offerings (read: anything but cranberries and turkey were off-limits). Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise.

This past year we were invited to our neighbors home where they were serving a brined bird. Brined? doesn't that mean it sat in a salt bath overnight. Well, yes. Yes it does. Any recipe that takes longer than an hour to prepare is typically WAY too involved for me, so I have always shied away from brines, but that turkey (oh man, that turkey) was SO good, I had to give the recipe a try for myself.

And I did so. With EXCELLENT results. A week after Thanksgiving I snagged a small turkey breast for pennies on the dollar, and just this past week I did the same thing using an ad match from another grocer. The resulting meal was unbelievably moist and flavorful. Without further adieu, here is the recipe I adapted from an original by Emeril


one 5-7lb turkey breast, thawed
2/3C salt
1/2C brown sugar
1 large orange, cut into wedges
1-2 lemons, cut into wedges
1TBS dried rosemary
1TBS dried thyme
water to cover
a bit of oil or butter
salt (for seasoning)
6 peeled and chunked carrots
1 peeled and chunked onion
4 chunked potatoes
1TBS chopped garlic
1C chicken broth (for basting)

Make brine. Combine salt, sugar, rosemary, thyme and citrus with a few cups of water in a large stock pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Rinse turkey breast, inside and out. Pat dry. place into stockpot with brine solution. Add water to cover the turkey breast and swish the turkey/brine a bit to get all the new water mixed in. Cover and let sit in the 'fridge overnight.

Preheat oven to 325. Remove turkey from brine. Rinse and pat dry. coat with a bit of oil or butter, and sprinkle with salt inside and out. Stuff with a few of the chopped vegetables and place BREAST SIDE DOWN in a roasting pan. Add remaining chopped vegetables around the turkey breast in the pan. Cook, uncovered, for ONE HOUR. remove from oven, turn breast side up, and baste with chicken broth. Continue cooking until thermometer reads 160 (or until that little automatic thermometer thingie pops up)

Mine cooked for a total of 2.5 hours, and it was a 6 pound breast.
Let sit at least 20 minutes before carving.

Welcome back to my life, roast turkey friend, I never knew you could be so moist!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was converted to brining after brining a chicken and roasting it with some potatoes, onions, carrots, etc. YUM-O! -Brian