- 4 quarts water (24 cups)
- 3 1/2 cups kosher or sea salt
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons cracked peppercorns
- 7-8 cloves garlic
- 5 bay leaves, crumbled coarsely
Wash and dry a cooler which is large enough to hold the turkey you will be placing in the brine. (Or use a food grade plastic bag made for the purpose, available at your supermarket; this method will require only half the amount of brine.)
Prepare brine by combining ingredients in a stainless steel or enamel pan (do not use aluminum). Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until all of the sugar and salt are dissolved. Allow brine too cool. Pour into cooler (or bag, if using).
Add 2-3 quarts of ice; enough to bring the temperature of the brine to about 35F degrees. (Or, if using a plastic bag, add 1 1/2 quarts cold water and refrigerate the brine until it reaches this temperature.)Remove giblets, neck, etc. from inside turkey and refrigerate to use later on for making gravy, stuffing, or broth. Wash turkey well, inside and out. Rub inside of turkey liberally with additional kosher or sea salt.
Prepare sufficient brine to submerge turkey entirely. Recipe may be doubled, if required (or halved, if using a plastic bag for the brining).When the brine is cold, add the turkey to the cooler or plastic bag. Keep the turkey cold (35F or below). This can be accomplished by adding ice, or placing the cooler or plastic bag in a cold place. Check temperature to be sure it does not go above 40F. (Note: A frozen turkey can be brined until it has thawed).
When ready to roast the turkey, remove from brine and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Pat dry with a clean towel. Rub turkey skin with 2 tablespoons melted butter combined with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Bacon drippings can be added for extra flavor. Sprinkle turkey with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika. The turkey recipe is ready...enjoy it !