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The definitive brined roast turkey

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Home Cooking 24

The definitive brined roast turkey

Caitlin Wheeler | Nov 17, 2004 11:22 AM

OK. Having not ever cooked Thanksgiving Dinner in my own kitchen, I've decided to brine the turkey, but I'm not sure what the best brine recipe is. I need help!

1) I'm thinking of using Alton Brown's recipe, but I'm wary of the Vegetable Stock and candied ginger in the Brine, which seems like a big PITA to me, as well as being a little too fussy. Just plain salt water seems a little too unfussy. I like the combo of high and low heat, and I like that you don't have to flip the bird, which I'm just plain not doing.

2) I'm probably getting about a 16 pound bird, and I'm getting a frozen one. (Is this about right for 8 people?)

3) I don't care about maintaining the freshness and purity of the turkey flavor. I don't love turkey, and I don't worship it. On the other hand, I just want a roast turkey. I don't want some highfalutin cajun/molasses/Italian/Fines Herbes/ Asian/Pomegranate etc. turkey. It should go with straightforward giblet gravy and traditional bread/sage stuffing.

4) I'm making gravy separately from premade turkey stock and I'll probably cook the stuffing outside the bird (much to my father's horror, but it's my kitchen, so I told him to stuff it. Haha.)

So -- given these parameters, how do I cook my turkey?

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