Keeping your bird juicy isn’t that hard — all you need is the right seasoning and a really large refrigerator. Brining is the first step to a juicy and flavorful turkey for any holiday.
- 7 quarts (28 cups) water
- 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
- 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing
- 1 bottle dry Riesling
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
1. Bring 1 quart water, the salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
2. Line a 5-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag; if turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.
The turkey needs to soak for about twenty-four hours, so plan accordingly.