Let's skip the part where we talk about how turkey can be dry and boring and blah blah blah. We know it can. Here's a new way we're changing that this year: this Gin Brined Turkey.
It's easy, too! Just stir together gin, water, and salt, then add a bunch of herbaceous aromatics (including an apple and juniper berries) and pour it over a turkey securely placed in a brine bag. Then, forget about it for 24 to 48 hours. Brining, more or less, locks in the bird's juiciness, preventing moisture loss, while the alcohol acts as a meat tenderizer. In the end, you're left with an easily-flavored turkey with subtle notes of floral and citrus.
You could, as the recipe suggests, rub compound butter underneath the skin of the turkey and stuff some aromatics into the turkey's cavity—or you could do as we did and simply rub the bird with oil, salt, and pepper. This turkey allows for interpretation, happily accepting most herbs and your favorite gin (we used Beefeater Gin). This is one not dry, not boring turkey, not blah blah blah if we do say so ourselves.
- 1 12 to 14 pound turkey
- 1 liter high-quality gin
- 1 liter water
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3-4 sprigs fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme, crushed
- 1 lemon and 1 lime, sliced thin
- 1 apple, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon juniper berries
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
How do you brine your turkey? Let us know in the comments below!