Think of it as a Thanksgiving nightmare. It starts with the turkey coming out of the oven. It is golden brown, piping hot, and the scent of roasted turkey perfumes the house. Everything seems perfect.
And then you carve it.
It is dry, and worse yet, it does not have a lot of flavor.
That scene will be repeated at many homes Thanksgiving Day, but it does not have to be. There is an easy way to make sure your turkey comes out moist and flavorful. It is called brining.
A brine is a solution made up of broth, spices, and water. You soak the bird in the brine for at least four hours before cooking, though soaking it for 24 to 48 hours is even better. Brines are easy to make. They add plenty of flavor, and they keep the turkey from drying out.
Here's the recipe for a simple brine:
3 quarts vegetable broth
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup brown sugar
Tablespoon black pepper
Teaspoon ground ginger
Teaspoon ground sage
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Let it cool, and add two quarts of ice water to the mixture. Place your turkey in a bucket or other large container, and pour the brine over it. Store the submerged bird in a refrigerator or other appropriately cooled space.
When it is time to cook the turkey, remove it from the brine. Pat it dry with a paper towel. Then cook it as you normally do.
Once your brined bird is roasted, you will find it full of flavor, and moist, too. Thanksgiving nightmare averted - instead it will be a holiday dream.