So being a regular watcher of a certain television food program, I've had it
beaten into me that brining meat does good things for its finished texture.
Really good things.
So I tried it out last year, and I'm recreating the same. Except this time
I'm cooking the brine first (which was a step I missed in my haste last
time. This year's model should actually accentuate the flavor some as well.)
Put the following in a reasonably sized stock pot:
Two quarts vegetable broth
2/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 sprig rosemary
1T whole Peppercorns
1T whole Allspice Berries
1t ground ginger
There, just like this:
Well, close enough anyhow.
Bring that to a boil, and stir it a bit to make sure everything's dissolved.
Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Note that the brine has a rather pleasant aroma that should help you forget
about the part of the day you spent exorcizing demons of meals past from
Be sure to remove the neck and organ sack from the bird, and put your turkey
in a large enough container so that you can cover it with liquid and still
get the lid on. Pour the brine over the bird. Fill up any remaining airspace
with ice, and then top it off with water until everything's covered. Put it
in the refridgerator for at least 6 hours.
I wanted to put an eyepatch on it, or some other pirate theme, but I decided
it wouldn't do anything for the food, and probably ruin a perfectly good
eyepatch. Save that guy for workplace antics.
I settled on the turkey being a distant relative to the parrot.
Be sure to wash your hands frequently. Raw poultry's got great potential for
really bad mojo.
So I'm left with some extra turkey parts. Look how unhappy they are:
Ok, so that was probably totally uncalled for. Just be glad I didn't arrange
them in an obscene way (and you know I totally could have)
Well, the cat's got to eat as well, and seeing as I haven't yet washed the
pot from the brine yet, I put some water on to boil and threw them in for
about 15 minutes.
If you're familiar with my cat, you'll know that she both has a serious
turkey and gravy addiction (I never should've given her some scraps last
year) and that she is a total slob when she eats. I don't give her this sort
of thing very often, as it's probably not super-healthy for her, but if I'm
eating well, she might as well too.
So once the extra parts cooled down enough that I could rip into them by
hand, I pulled apart anything that would come loose into smallish pieces
(about the size of a marble) and gathered that all up to give to her
tomorrow. I figure any piece I can break up that way she's less prone to
leaving in the middle of the kitchen floor for me to step on, with bare
feet, late at night. There was about enough to fill up an old single-serving
yogurt container. I'll probably keep it limited to about 1/3 of that
The remainders of that were tossed. Oh sure, I could've made turkey stock,
but my freezer is already pretty full, I've still got the carcass for that,
and when all is said and done, the raccoons that live in my dumpster need to
get fed as well.
I like stuff.