With white wine, spices, herbs, and citrus, this is seriously the perfect brine for your holiday turkey. Don't blame me when you want to eat the whole bird!
Because my kids love so many of the traditional dishes I usually give in and make what the majority wants, and have done that for the past several years. But this year we got to have a preliminary Thanksgiving so to speak. You see, with all of our kids grown and out on their own, we have girlfriends and fiances plus their families to deal with. The last couple of years have been easier. Two of our kids were single, so it was just my son and his girlfriend's family to organize with. We adore her family so it was very easy to just combine everyone for one big meal. Two years ago it was here at our place, last year it was at theirs.
Now we have Kevin's son and his girlfriend, and my daughter and her girlfriend. Needless to say everyone getting together in once place for one meal just ain't gonna happen! That was when we decided to have a pre-holiday dinner to get all of the kids together and spend some time with them. So I got to stretch my imagination and come up with a few twists to some of my traditional dishes for this "warm up" meal, which I absolutely loved doing.
For years I have cooked my turkey the same way. I was even bold enough to post it as, and I will tell you that it was, and still is, one of the best dang turkey recipes I have ever tasted. However, I had a few ideas rambling around in my little head. Ever since we started smoking everything this summer (in the smoker that is!), I have been tinkering around with brine ideas, rubs, sauces, etc. We smoked a couple of chicken using this brine and OhhEmmmGeeee we thought our taste buds had died and gone to heaven! So immediately we started toying with the idea of smoking the turkey this year. We ended up nixing that idea because A) we would have to butterfly the turkey to fit it in out smoker (which is how we do our chickens but for some reason we didn't want to do a turkey that way), and B) one of the things we love about roasted turkey is that crispy skin.....I mean hellooooooo don't we all? But the skin just doesn't get crispy in the smoker (major foodie pout). So roasting it was going to be and, once we pulled the finished bird out of the oven and we happily nibbling on crispy turkey skin, we knew we had made the right choice.
To help get the crispiest skin possible make sure to take the bird out of the brine the night before you are going to cook it. Pat it dry, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and leave it uncovered in the fridge. It will dry it out and make it much crispier.
The kids all went on and on about the food. I made a savory bread pudding with bacon, leeks, and artichokes (that I will post later this week), mashed sweet and Yukon potatoes mixed together, homemade dinner rolls (again recipe coming and, don't fall over, yes I baked bread!), and of course homemade gravy. But it was the turkey that everyone kept coming back to. They didn't want dessert, they wanted more turkey! My son finally announced that this recipe must become the official holiday turkey recipe and the rest of the family wholeheartedly agreed!
1 year ago - Spiced Rum Candied Yams
2 years ago - Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
White Wine Turkey Brine
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 bottle Pinot Grigio (I used Gallo Family Vineyards)
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed but left in the skins
- 1 bunch (a good handful) fresh thyme
- 2 lemons, sliced
- Cold water (enough to cover turkey)
- 16 pound turkey (giblet package and neck removed)
- Bring the vegetable stock, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to a boil. Stir until salt is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- Pour the brine into a 5 gallon stock pot or container. Pour in the bottle of wine, then add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and lemons. Slowly lower in the turkey.
- Pour enough cool water into the pot to cover the turkey. Place lid on the pot and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
- For a crispier crust - Remove the turkey from the brine the night before, pat it dry, and place on a baking sheet in the refrigerator uncovered overnight.
Total time: 32 hrs. 15 mins.
Tags: white wine, vegetable stock, garlic, shallots, thyme, lemon, turkey, Thanksgiving, Christmas
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