Thanks to the folks at Mizkan for sponsoring this culinary adventure. My comments and opinions are my own.
To brine a turkey, in simplest terms, is to soak it in a salty solution. Miraculously (and through osmosis) this causes meats to stay hydrated while cooking and makes for a juicier, more succulent bird when you sit down to eat it.
This year we wanted to take a crack at brining with cooking wine, and wow, it turned out beautifully. I noticed it right from the very first carve.
Brining is not hard at all. We just purchased a food grade container to soak the turkey in.
And the cooking wines were perfect for this recipe. To read more about why cooking wine works so well when brining, check out the infographic in my earlier post here.
Roasted Turkey in White Wine and Citrus Brine
- 1 10-12 pound Turkey
- 1 gallon of water, divided
- ⅔ cup sea salt
- 2 tsp thyme
- 3 tsp pepper corns
- 2-3 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves, plus 2-3 branches
- 5 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 bottles of Holland House White Cooking Wine
- 2 bottles of Holland House White Cooking Wine with Lemon
- 2 lemons, cut in rounds
- Olive oil
- 2-3 celery stalks
You will also need that food grade bucket with a lid big enough for your turkey.
Make sure your turkey is completely defrosted before your brine it, take into consideration that defrosting can take 2-3 days.
Pour 2 cups of water in a pot, add salt, thyme, pepper corns, the rosemary leaves, and bay leaves and bring to boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes until all the flavors are combined. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
When the spices and water are at room temperature, you can start the brining. Put your turkey inside the bucket, add garlic cloves, cooking wine, lemons, water with spices and the rest of the water. The turkey should be completely covered in solution. Cover the bucket and put it in the fridge for 12 hours.
After 12 hours, take the turkey out of the brine, pat it dry and let it rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Insert the rosemary branches and celery stalks into the turkey cavity. With a kitchen brush, cover all the turkey with olive oil. Then put it either in a roasting pan by itself, or inside a roasting bag. Bake until cooked through, cooking time will depend on size, on average it is 15-18 minutes per pound. Check your turkey packaging for proper handling, cooking temperature, and time recommendations.
When the turkey is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. Don’t skip this last step, it is important for achieving a moist, succulent turkey.