I have been brining my Thanksgiving turkey for about the last five years. It virtually guarantees moist and tender white meat.And when my dear friend, Mary Ann, raved about this excellent turkey brine, I knew I’d give it a shot. The soy and molasses provided the beautiful, dark sheen…and this perfect combination of sweet and salty gave the meat a delectable flavor. Soaking or “brining” any meat allows the salt from the brine to infuse into and plump up the meat. A bit of sugar (in this case, honey and molasses) helps balance the flavor. I started this bird in a 425º oven, and decreased it immediately to 350º. With a combination of butter and white wine, I basted now and again…and covered the turkey with foil once the skin developed its gorgeous, brown lacquer. A real winner…and perfect for any holiday!!!
Note: I was nearly out of mild molasses so supplemented with blackstrap molasses…which is darker and much stronger in taste and smell. I was worried that it might impart an intense flavor into the turkey meat, but it was wonderful as usual. The legs took on a lot of the color from the brine…but the meat was moist and succulent despite looking almost burnt.
- 1 pound kosher salt
- 3 quarts hot water
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup honey
- 5 pounds of ice
- Pour hot water into brining bag, then add salt. Agitate bag to help dissolve salt. Add molasses, soy, and honey and mix to combine. Add turkey with giblets removed. Set in cooler filled with at least 5 pounds of ice. Allow to brine over night.
- Make sure to drain turkey well and pat dry before roasting as desired.