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NEW turkey brining question! Any experts on-line?

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veggie_lover Oct 8, 2011 12:13 PM

I'm a flexitarian. I only eat meat once a week that's been sustainably and humanely raised. I bought a beautiful 16 lb. turkey at a huge price for our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend but now I have less people coming for dinner. I thought it was a brilliant idea to have a butcher saw the frozen bird in half. So now, I have an 8 lb. half turkey to cook tomorrow. My question is: can I or should I brine it with all that exposed flesh?

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    knusprig RE: veggie_lover Oct 8, 2011 02:34 PM

    for the last 2 years I've done "dry-brining" following Cooks Illustrated magazine. I think it will work for your half bird. Using chopstick or any blunt end small tool - separate the skin from meat. Insert kosher salt between skin & meat, then massage the bird from outside to evenly distribute the salt.. Apply salt also in the cavity. Leave the bird 24-48 hrs in the fridge. Rinse with cold water (between skin & meat) and towel dry before roasting. (5 Tbs salt for 12-14 lbs bird).
    Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

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      travelerjjm RE: veggie_lover Oct 8, 2011 02:43 PM

      I have brined cut birds (chicken and game hens) with no issue.CI also has some wet brining info. Alton Brown did a show on it, too (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...). There are lots of recipes, but follow the Cooks Illustrated brine ratios and season as you wish.

      Here is a recipe from foodnetwork for brining a cut up turkey http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bb... Some folks brine turkey breasts.

      Go for it!

      (Oh, and always brine in the refrigerator or other cold place or with ice. Always.)

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        hungryjoanne RE: veggie_lover Oct 8, 2011 07:38 PM

        You'll be fine brining the bird with the exposed flesh. I often brine chicken parts before barbecuing to keep them moist, and the exposed flesh isn't an issue.
        Have a great dinner, and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

        1. Siobhan RE: veggie_lover Oct 8, 2011 07:46 PM

          I think you are fine to brine a half turkey. One hint that I have learned though is to brine 2 days ahead. Then rinse and let the bird sit uncovered in a refrigerator 1 day ahead so the skin will be dry and get nice and brown when roasting. I use Alton Brown's brine recipe form food tv and this has not failed me yet.

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            LabLady RE: veggie_lover Oct 8, 2011 09:10 PM

            I often brine the pieces when I do roasted chicken parts (it's faster than roasting a whole chicken), so I don't think brining could hurt for 1/2 turkey.

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              veggie_lover RE: veggie_lover Oct 9, 2011 09:49 AM

              Thanks everyone!

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