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New for me, Turkey Brine


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I usually use an apple cider based brine, but after reading  the post  on John's Turkey 101 saying don't use apple cider in your brine because it pre cooks your bird to some degree, I decided to try a new brine. BGE put out a post on a bourbon / orange juice brine. I changed up the recipe a bit but followed the general idea. 1 cup bourbon, 1 cup orange juice, 3/4 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup honey, combined with enough water to cover my Spatchcocked 13 lb bird. To that,  I added a bundle of Simon and Garfunkel herbs and two sliced oranges. I heated a quart of water and dissolved the salt and honey in it. I let that cool and then combined it with the rest of the cold  liquid. I use a food safe square bin that fits in my garage fridge as it is food safe to keep the brine below 40 degrees during the entire brining process.  I let the bird brine over night and the next day let it air dry uncovered in my fridge. On Thursday I washed the bird off in the morning and painted it with a mixture of bourbon and orange juice combined with some olive oil, and a good sprinkle of fine kosher salt over the entire outer skin while the bird was wet.  This  gave the bird  kind of a shellac finish when I let it continue to air dry uncovered in the fridge until my cook. During the cook I basted the bird a few times with the bourbon / orange juice / olive oil mixture. I cooked my bird at 375 and it was pretty much done in 2 hours and about 15 minutes. Actually came out as  the most beautiful turkey I have ever cooked. Wonderful even golden brown color, very moist both in the breast and thighs ,  and most importantly every one raved about the flavor. I added this recipe to my collection and will most likely use it again next year. (sorry I did not take any pics, but I assure you  it did happen as described)

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1 hour ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

So, my question regarding 'precooking' is why would that necessarily be a bad thing? That said, I never brine.

My thinking is that it might help dry out my turkey breast. This bourbon OJ brine, however, turned out a really moist flavorful  breast. Like John said the amount of acid didn't really affect the moisture in the bird. The idea of the Oj is to give a brightness to enhance the flavor. I think it worked. 

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