Imagine you were asked to help teach 20 or so eager Japanese people how to make Thanksgiving dinner.
Imagine all was going well, despite the fact that you had to make pumpkin puree out of kabocha, the only available pie pans were 5 inches in diameter, and a bunch of zealous women wanted to shape over 10 pounds of mashed potatoes into individualized snowmen.
And then, imagine, that when you pulled a Norman Rockwell-worthy turkey out of the oven, every one took out their cameras and documented your every move. Including the fact that you look like a lunch lady in apron and head scarf.
This, my friends, is my usual Saturday event.
People sometimes ask me what my “specialty dish” is here. I now know I can reply with turkey! And the secret is all in the brine.
I think that if you are eating dry poultry, you haven’t yet found the most delicious secret of brining! It requires little effort and yields HUGE results. Even my pitiful iphone photo can show you the glory that is a brined turkey:
The basics behind brining is this:
36 hours before you want to cook your turkey, put the thawed bird into a vat of water, salt, and herbs.
Before cooking, rinse the bird inside and out and then place breast-side down in your pan.
My method is to cook the turkey breast side down for the first half, then flip it so it browns on top. The white meat doesn’t dry out and you still get beautifully crispy, golden skin. I also like to cover the wings with tin foil after the first few hours of cooking so they don’t dry out either.
And that is all you have to do for a perfect bird! The name Katricialicious comes from many offshoots of yet another one of my nicknames. Katricia is a combination of my first and middle name, which can also be shortened to Katrish. Another friend once called me Katrish-delish. And after my sister witnessed the paparrazzi event that was our cooking lesson, she came up with Katricialicious.
Brining is much easier than keeping my nicknames straight, don’t worry.
I like this brine recipe – and sometimes I just use water instead of vegetable stock. Enjoy!
*Updated, this is my new favorite brining recipe! I love lemons.