29 August, 2012
Brining a Turkey – Ensuring Ultra Moist & Succulent Christmas Turkey
Ho Ho Ho it’s Christmas, and Christmas in this part of the world means TURKEY!
An early memory of turkey – it’s Christmas and I’m maybe 12, 13 years old. My dad wielding the carving knife and fork, going ching-ching-ching (in my mind’s eye, I see sparks flying). The turkey comes out, cue “ooohss and aaahhss”. Dad starts making the first attempts at slicing perfect slivers off the breast. They kind of peel of in chunks and expose dry, sandstoney striations.
The blade is perfectly sharp but unfortunately the turkey is perfectly dry. After about 10 mins of hacking and sawing, our guests stomach gurgles become very audible and, giving up, my Dad attempts to Rip. The. Bird. Apart. With. His. Bare. Hands.
My mum is mortified. The guests start thinking about gatecrashing our neighbour’s Christmas party while Shaz and I are falling about with laughter. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Hey, if our forefathers did it around the campfire while simultaneously fending of woolly mammoth, why can’t we?
Little did we know that a turkey doesn’t have to be dry and bland and crusty. It can ACTUALLY look like those pictures you see in magazines, with moist tender juicy breast (which I always thought had been photoshopped) and the secret is BRINING.
The process of brining is different from marinading. A marinade penetrates the skin, providing surface flavour whereas a brine pentrates deep into the flesh via the osmosis – the flow of water from a place of higher concentration (the brine) to a palce of lower concentration (the turkey). But WAIT, there’s more! The salty brine also helps the turkey retain water during cooking.* LADIES, you KNOW this to be true!
I can honestly say I will never cook a Christmas Turkey without brining it first ever again. You don’t need alot of time, a 24hr brine is more than enough and the difference is remarkable. The brining flavour penetrates right into the flesh, and when you slice the breast you can visibly see moisture oozing out, enabling perfectly thin even slices.
If you would like to give it go this season, we have a subtly spicy Apple, Thyme & Cider brine complete with brining bag for S$12.50.
Seasons Greetings & Happy Eatings!