Ever brine a turkey breast?
- SweetPhyl Nov 12, 2006 04:42 PM
There's only going to be 3 of us for T'giving dinner this year and I plan on cooking a turkey breast. Can you brine them, too? We usually have like 20 people, so this will be a first for me.
You can brine anything so the answer is yes, absolutely! I've never heard of brining steaks, but pork chops, chicken, turkey - go for it! I'd say it is highly reccomended to brine the turkey breast actually.
You might want to consider roasting a small turkey. A lot of people (like me) prefer the much tastier dark meat. If you are concerned about leftovers you can find small hens or just have them cut a bigger one in half and freeze half for later use. We like turkey and do that often.
I tried brining one year but I didn't care for the saltier flavor. What I find works without fail is to cook it breast side down for the first 3/4 of the roasting time and then rotate to get some browning on top/crispy skin and a nice looking turkey presentation.
If you have access to kosher poultry, you might want to use it instead of brining. In order to be considered kosher, after the ritual slaughtering of the animal, before the poultry/any meat is cooked, it must have all of its blood drained out. This is achieved with immersion in salt baths (the original use of kosher salt). Essentially, all kosher poultry has been brined. One of the reasons that chicken soup made with kosher chickens is the best!
I use a very simple brining recipe - the largest pot I have with 1/2 lb kosher salt, 1/4 pound brown sugar, 2 each lemon and orange - I zest them into the pot and then quarter them, some quarterd apples. I let it sit for at least 24 hours - I usually smoke it for 6 hours over oak and then finish in the oven - but I have just gone to the oven and it is very flavorful and moist. I have heard some advocates of using cider instead of brown sugar, although I have not tried that.