Bourbon Makes It Better: Bourbon Brine from Biscuits & Such Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments
Thanksgiving is a time for foods that bring on the warm and fuzzies. After the mac and cheese is baked and the pies are set, aunts, cousins and in-laws pile into a warm home, hoping to smell scents of the holidays. Even if y'all are a family that cooks together, the turkey should be ready immediately after the uncles' front yard football showdown.
If you're stuck with main course duty this year, you're probably feeling emotions like worry, anger and regret. Cool your jets. Your turn at the bird will not need to swim in gravy, or worse, be replaced by pizza. Make dull, dry plate-filler a thing of the past. Instead, let the centerpiece to this year's meal be like the folks gathered round the table: a little sweet, a little spicy and always comforting. The key to making your turkey a family touchstone lies in what you use to make everything in life better: bourbon.
A carefully crafted brine is the secret to any memorable turkey, and a bourbon-based brine is sure to wow even your most skeptical aunt. One of our favorite recipes comes from the Southern food blog, Biscuits And Such. The editor, Elena, treated her bird with a sweetly spicy brine before frying it to a tender crisp.
4 cups bourbon
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic
Fill a pot halfway with water. Add all of the ingredients, but leave out the bourbon for now. Then bring everything in the pot to a boil and let it cool completely. Pour in your bourbon and then add the turkey. Make sure the turkey is totally submerged in the brine mixture, and add water as necessary to keep it that way. Cover, and leave it alone for at least 48 hours. After your turkey's taken a brine bath, you're ready to fry.
This mixture of sweet brown sugar, aromatic herbs and the earthy spice of bourbon creates a taste you'll remember into the New Year. The brine is a twist on the traditional Turkey Day method, without getting rid your family's favorite holiday tastes.
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