This year was the first year we have hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. Which meant that we were cooking the turkey, etc. instead of only one or two side dishes. Now, while I have cooked a turkey before (several times), I wanted to do something a bit different. Step up my turkey game if you will. Which for me, meant some kind of brine. I had found this recipe for a dry brine, one that took about four days to put together (seriously) but I misplaced the link to the recipe. Which was probably good as I thought four days of prep was a little ridiculous.
Which led me to this recipe, from Alton Brown and his TV show, Good Eats. You cannot go wrong with Alton Brown. And it was really easy to put together. I made the beginnings of the brine on Tuesday night to give it plenty of time to cool and sit in the fridge on Wednesday. I out the turkey in the brine about 3 pm on Wednesday and put it in the oven about 9 am on Thursday. Which was about 18 hours in the brine. To finish the brine, I filled a gallon container half with ice and the rest with water. That seemed “heavily iced” to me.
What made it even better, wasthat it didn’t take that long to roast either. Well, maybe not quite as it got done “early” which threw off the rest of the cooking. I had trouble reading the recipe. It said to roast for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat. It said it should take 2 to 2 1/2 hours for a 14-16 pound turkey. Was that including the first 30 minutes or not? I erred on the side of caution and put it in so that it was done if it really meant 2 1/2 to 3 hours. It would not be an issue if it was done early. Which it was.
Overall, this was great. It came out super juicy, looked fantastic and had a great flavor. I felt like I could taste some of the aromatics that were in the cavity but others could not. But either way, it was great. While I am likely to try other brines (dry or wet), this is definitely on my list to do again.