Try brining your turkey this Thanksgiving for a deliciously moist and flavorful bird.
- 1 whole 15- to 20-pound turkey* (thawed, if frozen)
- 1 cup table salt
- 1 gallon water
- ½ cup sugar (or other sweetener, such as honey, agave, sorghum or maple syrup)
- 1 cup fresh herbs, chopped or ½ cup dried herbs**
- 1 very clean bucket or large kettle
*Avoid kosher or self-basting turkeys when brining. They already have salt added.
**Any combination of sage, rosemary, chives, parsley, etc. will be fine. Use whatever you have left in your garden.
- At least 12 hours before roasting, combine all basting ingredients in chosen container. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Rinse the turkey well. Set aside the neck and innards for gravy.
- Immerse the bird in the brine and cover with plastic wrap or foil. If part of the bird is not covered in liquid, it will be fine. If desired, however, you can double the brine recipe and cover more completely. Refrigerate the turkey.
- Turn the bird several times (about every 6 to 8 hours) to brine evenly. Remove from brine, rinse thoroughly and roast at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound.