At-Home How-To: Turkey Brine Recipe from Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine

Marilyn HawkesNovember 24, 2020
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Just in time for Thanksgiving, chef/owner Anthony Barr of Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine in Scottsdale, offers a recipe for turkey brine. Never brined a turkey before? It’s an easy step that a lot of people don’t take to ensure a juicy bird, Barr says. And since the salt and other spices and flavors in the brine absorbs into the turkey, you won’t have to season the bird.

Barr suggests brining the turkey in a large plastic container, one that’s big enough to submerge the whole bird. You can also use extra-large Ziploc bags for a smaller turkey. Once brined, you can rinse the turkey or not (your preference) and then get ready to roast. Barr likes to slather mayonnaise on his turkey before he puts it in the oven. “Mayonnaise gives it a nice color and texture,” he says. “If you do that, you’re going to have an amazing turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner.”

Turkey Brine Recipe

20 lb. turkey
1 gallon cold water
1 gallon hot water
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
2 lemons, cut into slices
6 bay leaves
2 onions, cut into slices
2 oranges, cut into slices
2 bunches oregano
½ cup lemon pepper
¼ cup fennel seeds
¼ cup granulated

Add all ingredients in a stock pot with 1 gallon of boiling water until the sugar and salt dissolves. Add 1 gallon of cold water. Pour brine over turkey and submerge. Place in refrigerator for two days.*

*There are many opinions on how long to brine the turkey. Some sources say as little as eight hours and others say three days. Check your favorite cookbook or website to determine which one will work best for you.

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