This recipe came to me via my mother, who, I believe, clipped it out of the Washington Post food section. She has been using tips from this brining recipe for years now, and every Thanksgiving she digs out one of her massive 5 gallon zip-lock to brine her turkey in a mixture of apple juice, herbs, salt, and broth. My family was feeling up for turkey this week. Probably due to a combination of visiting Quebec last weekend as they were preparing to celebrate their own Canadian Thanksgiving, which took place on Monday, and the crisp fall weather that draws us indoors at the end of each day for warm, homey meals. Instead of cooking a whole bird, we went for a turkey breast, which, with some effort, you can wrangle into a gallon zip-lock to brine. I tossed some mushrooms and potatoes into the bottom of my roasting pan halfway through the roasting process as a side.
- Turkey Breast (you can also use a whole turkey)
- unsweetened Apple Juice
- Chicken or Turkey Broth
- Herbs (I like a combination of rosemary, sage, and thyme)
- Butter (room temp)
- chopped Herbs
- sprig of Herbs
- whole mini portobello (baby bella) Mushrooms
Potatoes and Mushrooms:
- 1 lb new Potatoes (I got a mix of yellow, red, and purple potatoes)
- remaining baby bella Mushrooms that were not used to stuff the turkey
- 2 tbsp melted Butter
- 1 minced clove of Garlic
- 2 tbsp of chopped Herbs
- Salt for seasoning
- pan Drippings
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- Salt for seasoning
- Brining: (a day before you roast your turkey)
- Place your turkey in a large bag or container that can be fully sealed. I usually line a large bowl with a zip-lock bag, and set the turkey in it cavern opening side up.
- How much brining liquid you make is dependent on the size of your turkey and the container or bag you decide to put it in for brining. The turkey should be fully submerged in the brining solution. My standards of measurement for the brining solution are as follows:
- Two parts broth for one part juice. (ex. 4 cups broth = 2 cups juice)
- 1 tbsp Salt for every 3 lb. of turkey.
- Place the herbs (2 or 3 sprigs of each fresh herb you choose to use) in the bag with the turkey.
- Pour the brining solution over the turkey. Make sure that the cavern opening is full, and the turkey is fully covered.
- Seal the turkey in the solution, and place it in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
- Arrange the racks in your oven to fit both the turkey and a steam bath.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (~176 C).
- Fill a pan with water and place it in the bottom of your oven.
- Lift your turkey out of the brining solution, and place it in your roasting pan.
- Message the softened butter and chopped herbs on to the outside of the turkey.
- Stuff the cavern of the turkey with the herb sprigs and a few mushrooms.
- If you have a temperature probe insert it into the thickest part of the breast.
- Cover the turkey with a sheet of aluminum foil, and place it in the oven.
- The turkey should cook for about 15 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature registers at 165 F (~74 C).
- About half an hour before the turkey is estimated to be done, remove the foil and allow the turkey skin to brown.
- Once you remove your turkey from the oven you need to allow it to rest for about half an hour before carving.
- Potatoes and Mushrooms:
- Set the potatoes, mushrooms, herbs, and garlic in a bowl.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the potatoes and mushrooms, and then use your hands to ensure that they have been coated evenly.
- Season with salt.
- About an hour before your turkey is estimated to be done, add the potatoes and mushrooms to the roasting pan alongside the turkey.
- Use the drippings from the bottom of your roasting pan.
- On the stove top, whisk together the drippings and the flour to create a roux.
- Continue to whisk as the broth is added.
- Whisk until the broth starts to thicken into a gravy.
- Season with salt if needed.