Tasty Brine for Turkey and Poultry
There is something about is mysterious about brine. Yet most store-bought turkeys and chickens, chicken pieces, especially chicken breasts are brines, and seriously brined, this is to give your meat a nice plump juice look when packaged and also quicken the cooking time while adding taste. (And a lot of salt)
Brine is a bit like a marinade, except you might want to do it longer, it is a mixture of salt and sugars, spices and flavors for your usually dry meat to absorb before cooking.
Brine is easy to make, but you want it to be balanced, (salt and sugar content-wise).
Because I do like to work with maple syrup and it is readily available to me, I like to use it in this brine, it adds a good balance to the apple juice which is a good acid for brining purposes. This brine gives you enough to brine to nice large turkey breasts or up to 8 chicken breasts.
I do like to use a large Ziploc bag for brining or marinating because I can remove the air from the bag and it helps in the process, however, this is not a necessity and I do not always use a freezer bag.
Now that BBQ season is here, it is more fun than ever to brine your white meats, because BBQ seals in the flavors when we sear, and then on the flip side, it might dry out your meat, having brined the meat, your meat will cook faster and be so much more juicier, the flavors of your brine will be retained in the meat. So try it and let me know how it goes!
In the images below, I have used the brine on 2 turkey breasts. They came out juicy delicious!
Turkey (Poultry) Brine
1 c. apple juice or apple cider
½ c. maple syrup
½ c. brown sugar
2 c. water
Peel of one orange
Juice of 1 orange
2/3 c. table salt or ¾ c. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. whole allspice cloves
1 tsp. black pepper cloves
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
8 cups ice
Place all ingredients except the ice in a medium pan and heat over medium heat till salt and sugar have melted/dissolved completely. Remove from heat and add the *ice.
Add your poultry and cover.
Leave in brine for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
Cook your meat using your favorite recipe and see just how delicious it is.
*The reason for using ice is you never want to add your meat to a warm or even tepid brine, the method I am using cools the mixture quickly so you can start brining sooner.