This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.
A turkey brine is a great way to cook a perfect turkey. Turkey brine is simple to make and will ensure a tasty, moist turkey with plenty of leftovers.
We’re lucky to have my parents and my sister living in Las Vegas with us. We have a big family dinner at least once a week. I love American Family’s Back to The Table Campaign – encouraging families to sit down and eat a meal together. Like most families, Thanksgiving is always a big family event. My husband and I always volunteer to cook the bird. When I plan to cook a turkey, I usually try to get a big enough bird to leave us plenty of leftovers. Leftovers can be a sticky situation. No one wants to eat the same meal three times in one week. I’ve found the trick is to create an entirely new dish with the leftovers and then freeze what’s left.
For Thanksgiving, I’ll create a new meal by serving hot turkey sandwiches. We just put some turkey on a piece of bread and cover with lots of leftover homemade gravy. Later that week, I’ll make a turkey pot pie within the week, but after that, I portion the meat in to 1 cup servings and freeze it. I can use the turkey later on in soups, casseroles, or stir fry. I also make sure to use the turkey carcass to make broth and freeze that as well. This way I’m not wasting food and my family isn’t turkeyed out.
In order to get delicious leftovers, you need to first make a delicious turkey. I will admit, though, that turkey is not my favorite meat. I’d take chicken any day, but tradition is tradition so I set out to find a way to make the turkey “better.” I considered a turkey fryer, but I’m generally afraid of hot oil so instead I decided to try out a turkey brine. I haven’t cooked a turkey without a brine since. I promise that a turkey brine will help you cook the perfect turkey.
A turkey brine is basically just water and salt with your favorite herbs added in. You have to be careful not to brine your turkey for too long or it’ll get way too salty. The bigger the bird, the more time it needs to bring, but that also means if you have a small bird, you only need a few hours in the brine.
I have a large plastic bowl that I use to brine, but a turkey bag, like the ones you use to cook them in, works perfectly for larger birds.
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- 1 turkey
- 12 cups water
- 4 cups of ice
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 7 Tablepsoons additional herbs such as rosemary, thyme, pepper, sage
- In a large pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add sugar and salt and stir until they dissolve.
- Remove pot from heat and add remaining water, vinegar and herbs and stir to mix.
- Add ice to water to cool it down.
- Prep your turkey by removing neck and giblets. Place the turkey in a food container or food bag large enough to for the turkey to be submerged in the brine. Add the brine to cover the turkey completely. You may need a plate or something with weight to keep the turkey submerged in the brine.
- Leave the turkey in the brine for at least 12 hours (for a small bird, 10 pounds or less) and up to 24 hours, depending on the size.
- Remove turkey from the brine and pat dry completely.
- Roast turkey as you normally would.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper crew’s recipes that make perfect leftovers!
- Apple Cider Braised Pork Roast by Magnolia Days
- Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf by girlichef
- Baked Barbecue Chicken by Alida’s Kitchen
- Brined and Roasted Turkey by Growin Up Gabel
- Chicken Cacciatore by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cider Braised Pork Belly by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce by Neighborfood
- Coffee Rubbed Ham by Curious Cuisiniere
- Glazed Ham with Bonus Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes & Ham by The Foodie Army Wife
- Herb Crusted Roast Beef by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Herbed Pork Loin on Spaetzle by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Picadillo-Stuffed Chiles Rellenos by Foxes Love Lemons
- Pork Tinga by Juanita’s Cocina
- Roast Psycho Chicken by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Vegetables by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Shrimp Scampi & Sushi by NinjaBaking.com
- Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken by In The Kitchen With KP
- Slow-Cooker BBQ-Rubbed Turkey Breast by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Spicy Turkey Meatloaf by Runner’s Tales
- Sunday Supper Spicy Portuguese Pulled Pork by Family Foodie