South Park Magazine

To brine or not to brine your holiday turkey

Oh yesthe age old question, to brine or not to brine? Some folks think brining is a myth, or a waste of time. If you have had success cooking a turkey, you might not want to jinx yourself by trying something a little different, but read on you’ll see there is nothing to worry about.I get that, it’s a big piece of meat. It’s the center piece of the meal and in most cases the only protein. So if this gets messed up the whole meal is ruined. But what if you could make your super bird even tastier and even more moist? And you could do this without changing the method in which you have had success cooking the bird.Now if you haven’t had any luck cooking a whole turkey you may want to give brining a try, if for no other reason, you could use the help.The process of brining is similar to marinating in which a meat is place in a flavoring liquid. Brining however uses the process of osmosis to keep cooked meats moist by hydrating the cells of the muscle tissue before cooking.There is no need to get caught up in the science of brining. We will leave that part to the lab nerds. They are the ones who figured out that when the meat cells are surrounded by a brining liquid there is a reaction that takes place and the cell eventually gives up its fight of keep the liquid out. So it willingly takes in the water from the brine, packing every cell with moisture.Pretty cook that all that goes on inside the make-up of the meat just help us make our holiday turkey super moist. Brining can also be used for roasting chicken, grilling pork chops and even sautéing shrimp.It sounds fancy but really it is as simple as mixing the correct ratio of salt, sugar and water together to make the brine. The brine can also be flavored with different ingredients to help put some flavor into the meat.Here is a basic brine recipe that is flavored with honey and rosemary. This year give brining a try and sees for yourself...it’s that simple.Happy a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.Honey Rosemary Brine· 1 ½ Gallons-Water

· 1 Pound-Kosher Salt

· 12 Ounces-Honey

· 1 Cup-Brown Sugar

· 1/2 Cup-Fresh Rosemary-chopped

· 1 Bag-Ice

· 1 Each-New Trash Bag

Turkey:· Turkey should be completely thawed at least two days before the day of cooking.

· Turkey will need at least 12 hours to brine and up to 24 hours for best results.

· You will need a cooler large enough to hold the turkey with the brine.

Brine:In a large stock pot bring the water to a boil. Add salt, honey, brown sugar and rosemary. Remove from heat and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved completely. Add enough ice to cool the brine completely. Place the trash bag inside the cooler, add the turkey and pour in the cold brine. Close the bag by pulling up and tying closed so that the brine is completely submerging the turkey.Brine turkey for 12 to 24 hours. Remove turkey from the brine, rinse with cold water and pat completely dry.Grill, roast or fry turkey until internal temperature is 150 degrees. Let rest at least 30 minutes, the residual cooking will finish cooking the turkey to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees.For more great recipes and where to buy Chef Troy’s spices and cookbook visit www.cheftroy.net Watch Chef Troy on Fox Charlotte’s - Fox News Rising morning show each and every Tuesday from 7-9 am. To contact Chef Troy email him at cheftroy@windstream.net

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