Turkey Brine and Thanksgiving Eve to do list….

Our house is where our family joins to celebrate Thanksgiving. I love it! I love having everyone over, I love the smell of celery and onions sauteing–with sage and butter, I love the smell of turkey in the house as we watch the Macy’s Day parade. It is how I grew up enjoying the Thanksgiving that my parents made every year. It brings me absolute joy…Here is how I cook a turkey…
The preparation starts out the evening before….I combine a brine for the turkey I will roast (14-16 lbs bird)…while Bill smokes one of equal size on the outside smoker…We like to do both that way we send everyone home with plenty of leftovers. I only brine the turkey that will be in the oven.
Get a large bucket (like a painters bucket)—fill it with 3 gallons of cold water. Take the bag of giblet and neck out of the cavity of the bird…save this (makes great stock for gravy)
In the cold water place the following…courtesy of¬†Emeril
Brine:

1 cup salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 oranges, quartered

2 lemons, quartered

6 sprigs thyme

4 sprigs rosemary

To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.
Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

I also make stock with the giblet and neck. This is what I do….courtesy of Martha..
Giblet Stock Recipe…Giblet Stock

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Neck, heart, and gizzard from turkey

3 celery stalks, halved crosswise

3 carrots, halved crosswise

1 medium onion, quartered

8 ounces white mushrooms, halved

4 quarts (16 cups) water

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 bunch fresh thyme

12 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

1 tablespoon coarse salt

Directions

1.Heat oil in a stockpot on high. Add turkey parts, and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover partially. Simmer gently, skimming foam from surface as needed, for two hours.

2.Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Place bowl in an ice-water bath to cool. Stock can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I do this the night before Thanksgiving—that way it is all ready for when you are ready to make gravy the next day.
More Thanksgiving recipes to come!!!

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-Tracie
About Tracie

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes...all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge.