Cider-based Turkey Brine
I brined a turkey last year using Alton Brown's method (an insanely moist turkey!).... the only thing I didn't love is how fruity the resulting taste was. I was looking at William-Sonoma's Cider based brine yesterday, and I was wondering if anyone has ever used it? I am wondering, too, if the CI basic salt and water method is the way to go?
I've used cider brines on hams before, for turkeys I usually stick to something more savory.
This recipe is from the SF Chronicle courtesy of Alice Waters.
CHEZ PANISSE'S TURKEY BRINE
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme, or 4 tablespoons dried
1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed
Place the water in a large nonreactive pot that can easily hold the liquid and the turkey. Add all the ingredients and stir for a minute or two until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Put the turkey into the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. If the turkey floats to the top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it completely submerged in the brine.
Note: You may halve or double the recipe. The important thing is to prepare enough brine to cover the turkey completely.
To roast: Remove the bird from the brine, rinse and drain well. Pat dry. Follow the Best Way instructions for roasting, above.
I use AB's brine every year, but I do not use the apple, cinnamon, etc in the cavity. I use rosemary, an onion, some celery, maybe a shallot, and a splash of wine, etc. IMHO, Alton's brine does make for an insanely moist turkey with great flavor if you skip the last step.