Bourbon Brined Roast Turkey
Serving Size / Yield
- 2 gallons cold water
- 2 C. bourbon (optional)
- 2 C. + 2 Tbs. coarse salt
- 1 C. sugar
- 1 12-15 lb. turkey, giblets removed and rinsed
- 1 Tbs. freshly ground white pepper
- 1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs. fresh chopped herbs (thyme, parsley, etc.)
- Butter or olive oil
To brine, start the brining method the day before you plan to cook the turkey. Start with a fresh or completely thawed turkey. Wash the bird inside and out and remove the giblet bag and neck. In a large stockpot, plastic tub or cooler dissolve 2 C. kosher salt or 4 C. table salt in 2 gallons cold water. Add 1 C. sugar (or honey). Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Add bourbon (optional).
Herbs and spices may be added to brine to enhance the flavor. Add several crushed bay leaves, several sprigs of dried thyme, or other dried herbs, if desired. Place the turkey in the brine solution, breast down. Cover and chill overnight. Remove the turkey from brine, rinse inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
To cook turkey, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey on shallow roasting pan. Tie legs together and tuck wings underneath the bird. Coat the skin with butter or olive oil. Cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. Add 1 C. water to bottom of pan. Roast the turkey until temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees or thigh juices run clear when pierced with a fork.