An exceptional turkey recipe inspired by a signature Tennessee whiskey.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Total Cooking Time: 3-6 hours depending on the size and cooking method
For 12 Person(s)
We've brined turkeys for years because they enhance the flavor and juiciness of the meat. This year we decided to develop a brine and glaze using Jack Daniel's® Tennessee Whiskey. Everyone who feasted on the turkey (including us) labeled it as a success.
Most brine recipes recommend that a fresh bird should be used and to avoid kosher or injected turkeys because the meat will be too salty after brining. A fresh turkey can cost $4 per pound or more, so you can expect to spend around $55 for a 13 lb bird. For this recipe we decided to test a 13 lb grocery store brand frozen young turkey for $1.49 per pound with a cost of $20. The label states, "Contains up to 8% of a solution of turkey broth, salt, sodium phosphates, flavorings (extract of pepper & celery)".
We served the turkey to family and friends and asked for their comments. Everyone loved the flavor and juiciness of the meat. Then we asked them if it tasted salty no one said they noticed. Two of members of my family avoid salt and while they said they could taste the salt it wasn't overly salty to them.
The turkey was thawed by placing it in a 5 gallon bucket with a liner, then we filled the bucket with cold water. We waited 5 hours, then placed it on a roasting pan with a rack in the refrigerator while the brine was being made.
We did not expose the whiskey to the heat of the brine or the glaze, so the alcohol content was present, however any alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process.
You can brine a turkey for 6 hours or up to 2 days. We brined the maximum of 2 days. We also brined the neck and giblets, which ended up having a very strong brine flavor. In the future, we'll either add them the night before removing the turkey or not at all.
If you choose not to brine your turkey, the glaze in this recipe is very simple and it adds great flavor to the skin and exterior of the meat, not mention the wonderful color for the presentation. The photo above is the actual turkey used in this recipe.