24 hours until Thanksgiving dinner: Better get on that brine

Brining a turkey can make all the difference in its flavor because the salt and other seasonings permeate the meat rather than just seasoning the outer layer. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

Brining a turkey can make all the difference in its flavor because the salt and other seasonings permeate the meat rather than just seasoning the outer layer. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

We’re getting ever-closer to Thanksgiving dinner time, but it’s not too late to get your turkey in a brine.

If you need further convincing why this method will make for a better turkey, check out this story from our Sunday Thanksgiving food section.

And if you need a recipe to get you started, here’s one that happens to include bourbon. You might need it this year, but you can make the brine without it.

Bourbon Turkey Brine

16- to 20-lb. turkey
2 gallons water
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
6 to 8 thyme sprigs
6 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup black peppercorns
Peel of 2 lemons
Peel of 2 oranges
3 cups bourbon, optional

Combine all ingredients except the bourbon. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add bourbon and cool brine to room temperature. Refrigerate until brine registers between 35 to 40 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Place turkey in an appropriate container, such as a brining bag. Add chilled brine and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Remove turkey from brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Prepare bird for roasting. Discard used brine.

— From Janet Bourbon, Honeysuckle White Turkey

 

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