Five Little Chefs – How NOT to brine a turkey
Little Chef A thought it would be fun to make a turkey. While we were cooking she said over and over she wished it was Thanksgiving so we could have a lot of cousins to play with! That is usually what happens when we have turkey for a meal.
After defrosting the turkey for days and taking up so much space in our refrigerator it was time to start preparing. Little Chef A was overly excited to take it out and put it in the freshly cleaned kitchen sink. She cut off the wrapping and rinsed the turkey.
When it was time to clean the inside I told her to put her hand in the hole and pull out the bag and in the other side pull out the neck. “It’s grose in here” she said. I was impressed she stuck with the grose task and completed it.
Little Chef C cut the oranges and lemons in 4ths and the celery and carrot in one inch pieces. Little Chef Dad was watching her (which is very rare) and was wincing each time she cut. He decided he had to help her to keep her safe!
Little Chef Dad put the turkey bag in a big bowl. The turkey was then put in the bag. The lemons, oranges, celery, carrots, brown sugar, salt, herbs and water were all added.
Little Chef Dad was playing with the bag trying to get as much of the air out as possible. He lifted it up out of the large bowl and I saw two small holes shooting water out. I knew this was a mistake to keep playing with it, but he wanted to get all the extra air out when the bag broke and the water splattered all over the place!
Little Chef D who was sitting on the counter having a front row seat did not realize she was in the path of destruction. If she would have known she was in the splash zone she could have been prepared and wore a swimming suit or a poncho. The Little Chefs had already taken showers that night and this was one last thing we were doing before bedtime.
When “the event” happened we heard a loud pop, saw the bag explode and water splash all over! We all stood there frozen in shock. For a few seconds no one said anything! Then Little Chef Dad said, “Go get some towels!” Little Chef D sat there with her arms outstretched dripping from head to toe with turkey water and her pajamas soaked though. She was told to wait and sit for a moment until I could get to her then she could take a second shower!
We used SO many towels to clean everything up. We started a load of wash! Little Chef A said, “We have a flood in our home!” I really hope this is the only type of flood we will ever have in our house!
Good thing the turkey bags come in a two pack because we needed another one! Luckily the second time around the bag did not break. Just to be safe the turkey bag was placed into a garbage bag then laid inside the roasting pan in the refrigerator overnight.
After cleaning up for a very long time we just might consider passing on brining the turkey next time!
Thanksgiving Turkey (or Easter!)
1 (10 to 12 pound) turkey
Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water. Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container. Add the oranges, lemons, thyme and rosemary.
If you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.