Getting ready to begin brining my turkey!

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SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
I've just started the water on the stove... I'm putting together my brine for the turkey.

I've got the cornbread in the oven so that we can have it on hand for the cornbread stuffing. Oh yeah. I'm putting sweet Italian sausage in it this year. Anyone have a particularly good cornbread stuffing recipe?

I'm also going to try out Todd's bourbon based marinade for a pork loin. (I was running low on Woodford Reserve so it gave me a good excuse to buy a new bottle today... Thanks, Todd!) Anyway, I'll give feedback on it after I eat it.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Here you go:

We make corn bread dressing. I don't really have a recipe, it is sort of a genetic thing. We use:

Cornbread 90% (Stale is best. And, NOT sweet, even if you like sweet cornbread.)
Stale biscuits 10%
Chicken or Turkey stock (not broth if you can)
Onion
Bell Pepper
Celery
Eggs
Baking soda
Salt
Pepper
Fresh Rubbed Sage
Fine Herbs
Other stuff. . . such as giblets, boiled eggs, etc. Pretty much what you want to do. Every family has their preferences.

Begin by crumbling cornbread and buiscuits into a large bowl.
Saute the onions, celery, and bell pepper in butter.
Saute the giblets in the giblets.
Boil the stock.
In the large bowl pour the stock over the crumbled breads until they are soaked. Don't 'over water' them, however. Stir the mess up to check for consistency. It should be like a stiff dough. Sort of like really wet biscuit dough, perhaps a bit wetter. Add either crumbs or stock as needed to get it there. Cover this with a damp towel and allow it to cool.

When it is cool beat the eggs. (We use three eggs in the pan I normally cook dressing in. It is about 10x16. I make the dressing about two inches deep.) To the eggs add seasoning. Start light and adjust later after it is in the wet crumbs. After the seasoning is added add about one teaspoon of baking soda to the mixture. Mix this into the wet crumbs thoroughly. Add the other stuff to the dressing: sauteed vegetables from above, chopped boiled eggs, chopped giblets, etc.

Coat your pan throughly with butter or oil and add the dressing. Smooth it out. Bake it at 350 until a knife comes out clean when withdrawn from the centre of the mix.

For a real treat reserve some and put it into a preheated cast iron skillet that is greased with bacon grease.

I know it is not much of a recipe. I've never tried to get it on paper. I make it by habit. It is a very good dressing. I always have people asking me for the recipe, even Northerners.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
When I do brine a turkey I do it in a large cooler. I've used both regular coolers and water coolers. Water coolers are great! They take up little floor space, keep the turkey and ice at the right temperature, and that spigot at the bottom really helps when it is time to drain the thing.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
I use a spare 30qt turkey frying pot. I run the metal pole thingy through the cavity of the bird and then lower it into the pot (kept out in the garage). I fill it up 3/4 with the brine solution and then the rest is ice. In my part of the country, 24 hours later there is still enough ice to keep me confident that things are ok in terms of bacteria. Then, when the brining is done, I just use the lift hook to grab the loop at the top of the pole thingy and lift the bird out. Easy as that.
 
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