Brine is a solution of salt and sugar dissolved in water. Though it may contain “aromatics” and other “acids,” like the orange juice and garlic in our recipe, all that’s really required is salt and water. The other ingredients help with the flavor profile.
Brines help your poultry and meats with moisture content and helps prevent that dry Thanksgiving turkey. What if you don’t have the space? Well, do you have a cooler? If you do, use it and save space in your refrigerator. Substitute some ice for the water, making sure that your brine is cold when you start. Your cooler will keep your turkey in brine, cold all night long! Make sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize your cooler when you are done!
Place salt, sugar, 2 cups of cold water, garlic and bay leaf in sauce pan. Bring just to a boil to dissolve the sugar and salt, turn off the heat. Add the onion, orange juice, and cups of water. Remove from stove, and add the container with ice water. Mix well, cool until it reaches 40 degrees.
Rinse your turkey with cold water, and dry (this is to remove bacteria and such). Place the turkey in a large enough container to hold the brine and the turkey (a small cooler, or a stock pot). When the brine has cooled, pour over the turkey, you may need a weight to keep it covered! Keep in the brine for 12 – 24 hours. Remove turkey, and discard the brine. Dry the turkey thoroughly.