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The turkey takes center stage on Thanksgiving and every cook probably remembers well her first time preparing that first Thanksgiving turkey. I was a bit of a nervous wreck preparing side dishes, desserts, and that big ole bird as a newlywed in our first home.
My Mother and Grandmother came early just in case I needed anything. I was so thankful they did. My jitters seemed to calm the minute they walked in the door. Grandmother oversaw the timing to make sure everything was cooked perfectly in my single oven, while my Mother took charge of getting everything on the table while keeping us laughing over stories of her first Thanksgiving.
We worked side by side, laughing and talking, with me learning more every minute. And I realized, this was truly a meal for which to be thankful. While the presentation was impeccable and the meal one of the best I remember, the time spent preparing the meal was the highlight of my day.
I learned an important lesson that day. The focus of the day is gratitude, family, and friendships. Preparing the meal with and for the ones you love is a gift – one of which I’m most grateful.
Another thing I learned is the importance of a great brine to a delicious, juicy turkey. I’ve tried a few brining recipes over the years since that first fateful Thanksgiving meal and none I’ve enjoyed more than this easy, savory recipe I received from Kikkoman as part of their Kikk’d Up Thanksgiving campaign.
The simple, yet perfect combination of soy (or coconut aminos), sugar and dried herbs produces a flavorful brine and a savory turkey. I can’t wait to try this same recipe on other poultry soon.
Savory Turkey Brine Recipe
- 2 gallons cold water
- 10 ounces soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried sage
- 2 tablespoons dried celery seed
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Clean turkey by removing neck and giblets.
- Rinse well inside and out.
- Mix water and remaining ingredients in a large stockpot.
- Stir well until all salt is dissolved.
- Place turkey inside a brining bag that has been placed inside a large roasting pan.
- Pour brining mixture over the turkey.
- Close bag tightly and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
- Remove turkey from brine, rinse well.
- Follow your regular cooking instructions.
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Every year my father in law cooks the turkey in his giant dutch oven. Last year he said he isn’t doing it anymore… So this year I’m going to give brineing a shot! Where do I find brineing bags? Just the grocery store?
Oh my goodness Megan, you are going to do great! Yes, I used the Reynolds Brining Bags this time. You can also just use a large stockpot if you can’t find them though.
Just when I’m trying to figure out…to brine or not to brine…you come along and post this delicious recipe. Perfect timing…. Believe it or not, considering my love of cooking, I’ve never been in charge of the turkey before this year. Pressure’s on…..yikes!
I’ve only roasted about four turkeys in my life! Yikers, but I do a brine as well, I can’t wait to try this Kikkoman one.
I tried this recipe last year and it is absolutely delicious! It was my first time brining a turkey and I was sold! I even did it again this year, but, created a different brine 🙂
gorgeous pics, hon
I brine every year. Sometimes I make my own sometimes my butcher has a good mix for me. This sounds interesting, is there a big soy sauce flavor or is it mild? Kikkoman’s isn’t gluten free but there are other brands that are, so I could try it. Let me know about the taste.