Soaking your Thanksgiving turkey overnight (or longer) in an herb brine ensures that the meat will stay moist after roasting. The aromatic herbs add extra depth and flavor to your turkey.
My family always buys a fresh turkey for thanksgiving, meaning it has never been frozen. While we usually have to put the order in a few weeks ahead of time with the local butcher it is well worth the extra effort. Fresh is always better.
The process of brining helps to keep meat juicy as it penetrates much deeper than a marinade. It’s important to let the brine cool before adding the turkey to the brine. Using cold water ensures the brine doesn’t boil or poach the turkey. While many brines use both salt and sugar, I use salt, garlic and an abundance of herbs and spices like bay leaves, fennel, rosemary, sage and peppercorns in my turkey brine recipe.
Both a dry brine and wet brines such as this one infuse the turkeys meat with flavor from the spices and salt. This helps to reduce the amount of liquid expelled during the roasting process, helping to keep the turkey as juicy as possible.
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