NUTLEY, NJ - For twelve years members of the Nutley Chamber of Commerce have sung the praises of the annual Thanksgiving luncheon catered by the students in Nutley High School's culinary classes. Between the praise, some members of the chamber asked "how do they do it?" A TAPinto Nutley investigative report has discovered the secret to the juicy flavorful turkey: brine, and we didn't have to file an OPRA request.
Brining is a culinary technique that takes a minimal amount of effort to produce maximum results. Poultry is soaked in a cold water bath of salt, sugar, and spices for several hours. While immersed, the salt draws in water and flavor into the poultry, making the end product tender and juicy.
The students used the brining technique for the turkey they roasted for the Nutley Chamber of Commerce Thanksgiving luncheon, but the technique will also work for roast chicken and even grilled poultry during outdoor grilling season.
After a little prying, the students shared their recipe for turkey brine:
3 qt water
½ lb kosher salt
½ lb brown sugar
2 lb ice
2 T onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t peppercorns
1 T dried parsley
½ T dried thyme
1T fresh sage minced
Mix all ingredients except for ice and turkey until other ingredients dissolve. Add the raw turkey and then cover with ice. Allow to soak for exactly 4 hours. Remove from brine mixture and thoroughly rinse. Lightly coat turkey with olive oil and roast as you normally would. This recipe is best for a small turkey or a turkey breast. To brine a full size turkey you may need to double the recipe.
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