If you read my annual turkey page, you know it's important to brine the bird. Well, here's a new way to brine that is said to be easier and delivers great results. It comes from someone I admire, Judy Rogers, who owns the fabulous Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, so I'm paying attention!
In an article published in the Los Angeles Times, the method is described very simply: "You just salt the turkey a few days in advance, give it a brisk massage every so often to redistribute the salt, and then roast it."
They tested this against several other methods, including wet-brining, and said, "I wish everyone who had ever told me that 'turkey is turkey' could have been there for the judging. These were remarkably different birds, and the clear winner was the dry-salted Judy Bird."
- Start with a fresh turkey. They haven't tested frozen.
- It doesn't come out salty.
- Use a light touch: about a tablesppon of salt per five pounds of bird.
- No rinsing.
- Three days salting and a half day to air dry outside the bag.
- You can get by with two days and skip the drying.
- You can use the pan drippings for gravy. It doesn't make the gravy salty.
The recipe. In brief: Wash and dry, salt (adding herbs if you like). Place in a 2-1/2 gallon bag, squeeze out the air. Refrigerate for three days, massaging daily. Remove from bag, refrigerate 8-12 hours. Roast according to my turkey article.
Tune in here next week and I'll let you know how this works.