Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Turkey Brine

While doing our normal shopping this past week, I noticed that several places had fresh turkeys on sale. Not a ton (I saw maybe six total between a couple stores) compared to the freezers and freezers stuffed with Butterball and the like, but I was confident on being able to buy one when we were ready to cook one. After the fiasco that was the chicken brining (well, the brining went fine, cooking not so much), we were anxious to try the real thing.

We didn't buy a fresh bird on our usual Sunday shopping run, figuring we didn't have the space in the fridge to keep it till we were ready to use it, so last night I went looking. The Albertson's a half mile from our house had one on Sunday, but of course it was gone last night. I tried the Super Target at Bell/3rd St, the Safeway across from that, and a Basha's. None had one. I remember the Wal-Mart Supercenter having some on Sunday, so I went there at lunch today. They had one left, a 17-pounder. That's a bit bigger than we normally do (there's just the two of us) but we can freeze the leftovers. The leftover brined meat makes great sandwiches.

The brine is simple to make. I love Alton Brown's recipe from the classic "Romancing the Bird" episode of "Good Eats". I made the brine last night to give it time to cool down. We used to get a 5-gallon bucket from Home Depot and stash it in the fridge, but then we saw Alton use a 5-gallon Gatorade-type cooler for a brine. We picked up an Rubbermaid 5 Gallon cooler at Wal-Mart and just stash it in a corner overnight to brine. I just put the turkey in it so it'll get a nice long soak.

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