Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Herbs for the Holidays. Turkey

There are several way to incorporate herbs into your Thanksgiving Turkey.

One of the most common ways is to blend herbs and butter together, then rub that herbed butter on the breast, inside the skin before roasting.

Often, I just layer a bunch of fresh herbs over the bird, then top them with some bacon, so that as the bacon cooks, the fat drives the flavor down into the meat.

But I have been watching a whole lot of the Food Network this week, so I wanted to try the technique that everyone is raving about.

Turkey Brining!

From Rachel Ray, to Bobby Flay all the big names have mentioned it this week, so I wanted to give it a try.

I watched everything I could, then did some reading and independent studying on my own.

I came to the conclusion that there is no set formula, no real rules, and no recipes, per se.

The consensus seems to be that you should use about 1 cup of salt for every gallon of water, and that you should use some herbs and sugar, to offset the salt.

Beyond that I was on my own.

I gathered all the stuff I thought I would need

Chopped up some sage and rosemary,

and set them to steep in boiling water.

Dumped some ice in the bottom of a cooler chest,

Chopped up a couple of onions,

And a few cloves of garlic

By now the herbs had steeped into a nice tea, I added about 3/4 c of honey,

Everyone stressed over and over the importance of using kosher salt, as table salt measures out differently...

I added some lemon juice, Guy Fieri did this on his show, and it just seemed to be the right thing to do.

And finally, dropped in the turkey. Ours is just over 18 pounds.

I topped it with some more ice, threw in the giblet pack, because I wasn't sure what else to do with it,

And put the lid on it.

This is an experiment for me, I have never brined a turkey before, so I am not sure what to expect.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted as to how it turns out. And of course, Diann will have lots of better pictures on her blog than I take for mine.

So tell me. Do you brine your turkey? Are there any trick or secrets I missed?

What is your secret to using the herbs from your garden to make your Turkey special?

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1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to hear how it turns out. I also have been hearing about brining on Food Network but don't know how. I don't use a lot of fresh herbs but I'm learning from you!