A brine is most basically defined as a solution of salt and water. Soaking a protein in a brine solution will not only add flavor, but also keep the finished product moist and juicy. You can be as creative as you want when it comes to the flavor of your brine, and there are endless possibilities to choose from. My family typically uses a combination of oranges and lemons, as well as fresh herbs. Below is a brine recipe that hopefully you will try this holiday season. Your turkey will thank you!
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 oranges, quartered
3 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (I have used large plastic coolers, large plastic buckets, or a large stockpot). Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Carefully add the turkey to the brine, cover with a tight fitting lid, and refrigerate overnight.
**If your turkey is large and you need more brining solution, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for each gallon of water added