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Thanksgiving Brined Turkey


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Following some discussions in other threads on the merits of brining chicken or turkey, here is a recipe that I have used successfully for several years. It is a recipe used by a chef friend from New Jersey for his family Thanksgiving turkey. The herbs and spices in the brine result in it having a lovely flavour.

Firstly make a batch of "Bell's Poultry Seasoning"

1 tablespoon rosemary.
1 tablespoon oregano.
1 teaspoon sage.
1 tablespoon ginger.
1 tablespoon marjoram.
1 tablespoon thyme.
1 teaspoon pepper.

Grind to fine powder.

Make the brine

400 g Cup non-iodised Salt
2 Tbs Paprika
2 Tbs Garlic powder (or granulated)
2 Tbs Onion powder (or granulated)
2 Tbs Dry Thyme
2 Tbs Ground Black Pepper
250 ml Vinegar (Any)
5.5 litres Cold Water to cover the bird
100 g Brown Sugar, Optional
1 Tbs Red Pepper Flake Optional

Mix well and Soak the bird overnight or up to 24 Hours

Remove the bird, rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry. This will give a crispier skin when Smoking or Roasting.

Make the "Bubba Chix" Rub

50 g Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Smoked Paprika 
1 Tbs  Garlic powder (or granulated)
1 Tbs Onion powder (or granulated)
1 tsp Groung Black Pepper
1 tsp White Pepper
1/2 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning (see above) or Thyme

Mix well. If you have a spice grinder grind to a powder

You can put directly on the skin and/or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon fat and rub on and under the Skin.
Smoke or roast at 150 - 160 C until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat reaches 74 C
Usually the skin will not crisp so if the skin is not crisp enough when the IT is 64 C in the Breast, put the Bird in a 220 C Oven to finish cooking to 74 C

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