1 gallon apple cider
1 gallon water
1 1/2 cups sea salt
Fresh Rosemary- I put about 6 5-inch pieces
6 bay leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 TBS peppercorns
1 TBS thyme
3 tsp minced garlic
Add first 3 ingredients to a hug pot, heat over med-high to dissolve salt
Juice all fruits- add juice and rinds to pot
Chop fresh herbs and onion- add to pot
Add other spices
Place thawed turkey in a giant bag. Fill cavity with chunky out of your pot. Pour the rest of the brine (chunks and all) over turkey so that it is submerged. If not, add a little more water to fully cover. Seal the bag so it won't spill. I also find it very helpful to place the bag inside a huge pot. Last year I put it in a roasting pan, but the pot was way easier to handle and to fit in the fridge.
Place in refrigerator for 12 hours to 3 days. I did ours for about 36 hours this year, and it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than last years which only brined for 20ish hours. Last year I made a very similar brine but had apple slices and apple juice rather than cider. It was also really good.
When ready to cook, Remove turkey from brine, discard liquid, rinse turkey and pat dry. I restuffed our turkey with the citrus rinds then rubbed the outside with butter, salt, pepper, and thyme then roasted in the oven as normal.
You could totally make this with other fruits/spices. I just used what we had in the yard. You can see in the pictures below that the things with the green rind are actually oranges, but the tree didn't have a whole lot of super ripe ones, so I just used what we had and it still turned out great! Same thing with the herbs. I used what I had fresh from the garden, then the rest just used dried. The thing i love most about this recipe is how juicy and flavorful the turkey was. haha. But the thing I love second most about this is that we were able to make the brine for super cheap because everything else came out of our yard/garden, which is always a plus for a plant scientist!
|Letting the brine steep/ cool|
|Turkey in the brine bag|
|headed for the fridge|
|nestled in amongst the beer. LOL.|
|The finished product!|
See the rest of our Thanksgiving here