How To Season and Brine Your Bird To Flavorful Perfection!
When it comes to roasting turkey, we’re big fans of brining. It significantly tenderizes the meat and requires only a simple seasoning of salt and pepper to exact amazingly juicy flavor. Try our Honey Brine recipe, then follow a few easy steps to successfully seasoning your turkey before baking and basting!
- 1 gallon water
- 1-½ cups salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
- 1 cup honey (replace with another cup of sugar if you prefer not to use honey)
Place all brine ingredients in stockpot and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes, or until salt and sugar completely dissolve. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for about 2-3 hrs.
Pour chilled brine into a deep pan and completely submerge thawed turkey. Refrigerate for 12-36 hours.
Remove turkey from brine, pat dry and season under the skin with one of the seasoning blends below.
Roast turkey according to package instructions, until the internal temperature in the breast and thickest part of the thigh reaches a minimum of 165°F.
Plus! Getting Under the Skin
Seasoning on the outside of the skin tends to run off with basting, but seasoning under the skin stays with the bird and cultivates enhanced flavor. You can also season the cavity with ingredients that spice from the inside, which improves not only the taste of the bird, but the flavor of the gravy.
Start by breaking the seal between the skin and meat. Just slip your fingers beneath the skin at the cavity opening and slide them back through. Do the same for the legs, making a small slit in the skin to start. Select one of these seasoning blends and rub it in evenly underneath. Season the cavity with the suggested complementary blend and you’re ready to roast!
- Seasoned Butter — Market District olive oil blended with lime, lemon or orange zest under the skin, along with sautéed yellow onion, fresh cloves, thyme, kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper in the cavity.
- Citrus Seasoning — Fresh, salted butter mixed with fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary and a touch of truffle under the skin, and sautéed chopped pears, shallots, celery, whole peppercorn and kosher salt on the inside.