It’s that time of year again. Diets go out the window, you see more of your family than is comfortable and if you are like me, end up hitting the wine a little to hard and wake up wishing you were dead the next morning. Now that I have a 10-month-old son however, I might just say no to the holiday “spirits.”
The house we ended up buying has a nice big dining room with a table to accommodate everyone for the holiday.
Have we used it? Nope.
The wife and I had this grand idea of having everyone come to us to take on the cooking responsibility. Before owning this home, we were always invited other places and pretty much adopted by a few families. It is funny how going over to co-workers homes to join them and their families for such an intimate holiday, can net you a serious second family that cares as much as yours does.
But alas, we ended up moving and lost those sweet holiday gatherings. So with this home, we decided we wanted to be the people that brought others into the fold. But, we overlooked something that lives in every parent.
My in-laws are just a hop, skip away, so we have ended up joining them each year. To be honest, I’m more than OK with it. Being a new dad myself, I would enjoy having my son over with his family on Thanksgivings, doing the work while they enjoy themselves and having the whole crew back in the house.
Granted he is only 10 months old right now and I’m kind of thinking way into the future. I can see why my in-laws would love for us to come over there every holiday.
And that brings us to the point of this week’s column — brine your turkey. No one likes dry turkey. I can’t help but imagine Clark Griswold cutting into what looks like a perfectly golden brown turkey, only for it to go up into a steam cloud. Gravy can only do so much.
All brining takes is some planning. If you aren’t planning your Thanksgiving meals at least one day in advance than I suggest you do.
Not only does your turkey come out better, it also shaves about 30 minutes off your cook time. Win-win!
I hope your Thanksgiving goes according to plan and you don’t burn down your garage, like I know someone will do this year.
Enough for a 10- to 12-pound turkey
1 gallon vegetable broth
1 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried savory
1. In a large stock pot, combine the vegetable broth, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme and savory. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
2. When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5-gallon bucket. Stir in ice water.
3. Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
5. Cook the turkey as desired, reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster so watch the temperature gauge.