I had the most wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We had some dear friends visiting and the only thing we did was eat, drink, laugh and take long walks in the woods.
I succeeded in  cooking the turkey to perfection. It was so moist that I can truly say it was juicy. Turkey can so easily become to dry or tasteless, but I found a secret method and I want to share it with you right now – BRINE!

Brine is not a marinade but it is a salty and sugary water with additional spices that hydrates the cells of the meats muscle tissue before cooking and allows the cells to hold on to the water (Remember osmosis from Biology class?)

I had a 4 kg (8.8 pound) bird and I used:
approx. 5 l of cold water
6 tbs  salt
4 tbs sugar
3 tbs syrup (mabel if you have it)
2 onions in quarters (with skin on)
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
Piece of fresh ginger
5 juniper berries
2 star anis
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
1 tbs fennel seeds
2 tbs black pepper corn
1 tbs pink pepper corn
2 clementines, I squeezed the juice into the water and then dropped the halves in

Leave the turkey (or duck, or what ever bird you are cooking) in the Brine for minimum 5 hours and maximum of 12. Then remove the bird from the water, let it become room temp and dry it a little. After that you can come your regular spice mix on the skin and fill it with your stuffing of choice.

Extra Tip:  Always roast the Turkey breast side down since the only fat on the bird is on it’s back. That way the fat melts, dribbles down along the sides and helps making it super moist.

Unfortunately I have no pictures of my bird in the brine, I was way to busy making the stuffing, pumpkin pie and all the side dishes, but here are few snapshots from our dinner.
UPDATE: I just received a picture of the Turkey in the brine from our dear friends that were staying with us. Thank god for turists and their cameras 🙂

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