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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Turkey Virgin No Longer

I have never cooked a turkey before. My parents live ninety miles away and I go and eat their turkey.

But this year ... I'm hosting, and I'm cooking the bird.

(Edited later to show the glorious result:)

golden goodness

I was feeling a bit more confident about the process after taking a class sponsored by Fine Cooking at Sur La Table. I got a big tip in how to brine a turkey using two oven bags - only takes one shelf in the fridge. So I ordered a Willy Bird from the Berkeley Bowl market (if I do this again, I'm ordering it from the Andronico's near my house so I can walk there).

The brine was made with:

1 cup Diamond kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
boiled with 1 quart water

and three more quarts of water added to cool it down. This is a brine for 18-24 hours.

I opened two Reynold's turkey bags and placed them in the roasting pan. The washed turkey went in, breast down. Then I poured the brine in very carefully and tried getting most of the air out of the inner bag before closing it. Then I closed the outer bag and twist-tied it. Then it went on the bottom shelf of the fridge:

soak it up

The plan is to smoosh the brine up in the bag each time I go into the fridge, and then take it out and let the turkey air dry overnight before roasting.

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