Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 12: Turkey and/or Ham

Time to start planning the big meat portion of the holiday meal.  What is your family's tradition?  Turkey?  Ham?  Both?  The following is the recipe we use for our Thanksgiving turkey every year.  For Christmas I think we'll be going with something a little less traditional like Chicken Tikka Massala but... that recipe will have to wait for another day.

Poultry Brine

1 gallon water
1 1/2 cups Kosher or coarse salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs Pickling Spice
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp tarragon


  1. Dissolve salt and brown sugar in water in a large pot.  Add vinegar and spices.  Allow to cool.
  2. Brine for 1 hour per pound.
  3. Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey before cooking.  Otherwise there will be a salty flavor to the turkey.
Best Turkey EVER!

We rub the turkey with a stick of butter (don't look at me that way).  And then stuff the cavity with 2 packages of fresh "poultry seasoning" herbs prepackaged from the grocery store and another stick of butter (stop looking at me that way!  It's Thanksgiving!).  We cook the turkey in an infrared turkey fryer and it comes out perfectly EVERY time.

If country ham is more your thing here is a link to Alton Brown's recipe - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/country-ham-recipe/index.html
We don't dig on pig but I have never had a complaint with any of the Alton Brown recipes I've tried.

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