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Cooking with CESI: Brined Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away -- it’s time to start planning your menu! Our recipe this week, courtesy of Food Network is a holiday staple for many families, with a little twist. Bay and Lemon Brined Turkey will be a wonderful addition to your holiday table! The beauty of a roasted turkey is that you can purchase it at this time of year for tremendously low savings in many stores. It’s common to see them under .50 per lb with a minimum store purchase. If you purchase a larger bird than is needed, you can stash some of the meat in the freezer for additional recipes. I often buy two turkeys and freeze one to roast later because they are so affordable this time of year.

turkey

Bay and Lemon Brined Turkey --  courtesy Dave Lieberman

Ingredients:
1 (12 to 15-pound) turkey
For the brine:
2 gallons water
1 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 lemons, sliced in 1/2
4 bay leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
Small handful cloves

Directions:

Combine all brine ingredients in a container or pot large enough to hold the turkey. Make sure all the sugar and salt have been fully dissolved. Add the turkey and refrigerate about 6 hours or overnight.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove turkey from brine and transfer to a roasting pan with a rack. Stuff turkey with the lemon halves, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks used in the brine. Cook turkey for about 3 1/2 hours, basting every 40 minutes or so. If any part of the turkey gets too brown towards the end of cooking, shield with pieces of tin foil. When the turkey is done, juices should run clear from the breast and the legs should pull away from the bird easily. Remove from the heat and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

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