The talk around town in November was mostly politics, but after election, people started talking turkey.
The thought of using a self basting or kosher turkey did not appeal to me, I’ve never liked taking too many short cuts, I find it ruins fun. But I had heard a lot of talk about brining and how it cut cooking time down and made turkey universally moist.
I did a bit of research, reading magazines and online articles and finally I got basic formula: one cup of salt per one gallon of water. Salt and water seemed pretty boring so I researched further. Recipes for brine were a dime a dozen, some made sense while others were downright bizarre. Finally, I decided I wanted my brine to give my turkey a little more than a salt bath and came up with my own recipe based on that one cup – one gallon ratio
I started out with a half gallon of water in a large pot. I added two cups of salt and one cup of brown sugar. I brought it to a boil and kept it on just long enough to dissolve salt and sugar. Next, I dropped in some peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves, and some thyme.
Finding a container big enough to hold a fourteen pound turkey and enough brine to cover it wasn’t much of a task. I just so happened to have a five-gallon bucket that I used for home brewing.
I poured slightly cooled liquid into bucket, topped it off with another half gallon of water, and added a couple trays of ice cubes to hasten cooling. I then added one gallon of apple cider and one cup apple cider vinegar. I placed my turkey into liquid, completely covered and let it brine away in fridge for eighteen hours.