Turkey brining Catch 22

This may already have been discussed, but...I'll probably essentially do the NY Times Dry Brine again this year (tweaking the herbs a bit.) http://www.nytimes.com... It works well, requires no turkey gymnastics (hot turkey flipping is not my event) and keeps things simple; frankly, I'd much rather be fussing with the sides. There's one catch: whenever I brine - wet or dry - the pan drippings make a very salty gravy. Using turkey stock made w/no salt doesn't totally offset this. I've thought of cooking a small peeled potato in the simmering gravy to draw out some salt (I figure any residual starch will just help thicken it.) Crazy idea? Any other strategies that have worked for you?

  • Posted by: amysarah
  • November 12, 2011


dymnyno November 12, 2011
If you brine your turkey, the resulting juices will be salty and I don't think it's worth trying to save it. Just buy some turkey parts , and also you will have the gizzards and liver that came with the turkey. Simmer them on the stove and use the stock and liver to make gravy. Be sure and let the simmer reduce quite a bit for a good reduction. It will make delicious gravy.
amysarah November 12, 2011
Sounds like a great solution. I've tried to dilute the salty drippings (w/no-salt stock) before, but never really thought of roasting unbrined wings/legs separately to avoid the issue altogether. Also, I love the idea of doing it all ahead; I always find scrambling around making gravy, while juggling pans of sides in/out of the oven, after evacuating the bird, stressful. (Intrigued by the prosciutto addition too - am a firm believer in the magic of pork products in almost anything, short of chocolate cake. And here the flavor really makes sense - e.g., stuffing with sausage.) Thanks!
AntoniaJames November 12, 2011
My best solution has been to make gravy using a stock (and drippings!!) from turkey wings, a day or two before The Big Day. I don't salt it, but add the best yummy bits from the brined turkey pan drippings at the end for seasoning and more flavor. My recipe is called Make Ahead Turkey Gravy, posted here. This year, I'm going to roast the back of my spatchcocked turkey separately, two or three days before (in the evening), save the drippings and make stock from it, etc. -- while making and then cleaning up after dinner on Tuesday evening, most likely -- and not even bother with the wings. I'm so interested in the potato strategy, however!! ;o)
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