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molasses-brined turkey recipe
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Our 2007 Brine Recipe!

molasses-brined turkey

Brining ensures moist, succulent meat, and this one if fairly easy to do (hence my choice to do it this year). You just need a large plastic bag and very large bowl or pot  that will fit in the fridge. Get started a day ahead, because the turkey is brined for 18 to 20 hours. Stuffing this turkey is not recommended - the brine remaining in the meat may soak into the stuffing during roasting – but we ALWAYS still do.


Brine and turkey
1 18- to 20-pound turkey (we’ve got a 12lb bird this year)
7 quarts water
2 cups coarse Kosher salt
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup of molasses
2 bunches fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh sage
2 quarts ice cubes

2 large onions, halved
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Small bunch of chopped fresh thyme and sage
4 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth


Line very large pot or bowl with plastic bag. Rinse turkey inside and out. Place turkey in plastic-lined bowl. Combine 7 quarts warm water, salt, sugar, molasses, thyme and sage in large bowl or pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Mix in ice cubes. Pour brine over turkey in plastic bags. Gather tops of bags together, eliminating air space above brine; seal bags. Refrigerate turkey in brine 18 to 20 hours.

Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350F. Remove turkey from brine. Drain very well; discard brine. Pat turkey dry inside and out. Fill with stuffing if you’re like us! Place turkey on small rack set in large roasting pan.

Roast turkey based on your own instructions, basting with periodically throughout. Let turkey stand 20-30 minutes before carving.

Serve turkey with gravy.