So as promised here is part one to my Thanksgiving chronicles for this calendar year.
This year I have decided with Mynchia (Mother Tao & Cynthia) to host Thanksgiving and cook a heritage bird. If you don’t know what a heritage turkey is they look like this …..
Generally most Americans eat the broad breasted white turkey during our beloved holiday.
Since their introduction to the market the broad breasted white turkey has more or less pushed heritage turkey farming to extinction, because like in all grand things American “Bigger is better!” The broad breasted turkeys have much larger breasts, don’t need to eat as much and can’t fly so it’s easier to raise them. Additionally, they have to be artificially inseminated since they can’t mate on their own, which in my book just seems gross. Our heritage friends however can still run, fly (briefly albeit) and get down and dirty with their bad self! Thus they need more space to peck around and are generally slaughtered at 24-30 weeks instead of the 16-18weeks for broad breasted. Remember “Time is money!” but it sure ain’t as delicious (Think BBQ, low and slow is always better). Anyways if you want to read more about it check out the Heritage Turkey Foundation site.
Moving on, it is suffice to say I believe this will be a tasty turkey and will have an authentic turkey taste whatever that is. I’m not sure, but it seems like something I’d like. So in this spirit to celebrate this turkey for its turkiness I am using the Judy Bird technique aka a dry brine.
Dry-Brine Technique from LA Times
Kosher Salt ( 1 Tbsp for every 5 lbs)
*Example: 20lb Turkey/5lbs = 4 Tbsp Kosher Salt (Yay Math!)
1) Clean and Dry your turkey (inside and out)
2) Lightly salt the cavity of the bird and then moving to the outside salt liberally all over your Turkey. Be sure to use all the salt which you measured out and concentrate more than a Tbsp just on the breast area.
3) Once you’re done bag your Turkey. Ideally you should have a sealable bag so air can’t get in, but I didn’t so I just used a rubberband on one of those oven bag things. If you don’t have one of those I’m sure a garbage bag would do just fine.
4) Stick it in the fridge breast side up for 2 days. On the 3rd day turn it breast side down. (I made this decision a bit late so mine will only be brining for 2 days. Google told me that this would be okay……)
5) After your 3 days pull that sucker out of its bag. There should be no salt visible on the surface and leave it uncovered in the fridge for 8 hours ****
**** Google also told me this part is optional. If you skip it just pat your Turkey down with paper towels instead.
6) On Turkey Day take your birdy out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for an hour before putting it in the oven.
And that’s it for Turkey brining stay tuned for Turkey Cooking!
p.s. Cross your fingers that Google doesn’t fail me in my brining shortcuts!