This delicious turkey brine recipe was taken originally from our good family friend, Dr. David Jockers. But you know me… I spiced it up a bit! I wanted to have a healthy brine recipe that incorporated a lot of the herbs and spices that I use throughout my Thanksgiving meal, or whenever I do an organic, non-GMO, free-range bird of sorts. And this was the perfect recipe!
I played with this recipe for a while. My favorite brand of Herbs de Provence is by Frontier and it is organic. It has lavender flowers in it. It has rosemary. It’s just the perfect blend! It’s my favorite addition to this brine. Plus this turkey brine recipe is great for nursing moms since there is no sage in it.
Fresh or Frozen Turkey?
I like to use a fresh, organic, non-GMO pasture-raised turkey. Of course, depending on where you live, I understand that sometimes only a frozen turkey is available. Brining it when it’s completely thawed is definitely the way to go. Put the bird in when it’s clean, and keep putting ice over top of it, keeping it cold the entire time its brining. It will take two days to brine your turkey.
The Best Turkey Brine Recipe Ever
- 1 cup of pink Himalayan salt
- 1 cup honey
- 1 quart boiling filtered water
- 7 quarts of filtered water
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 flower of garlic, open all the cloves
- ½ bunch rosemary
- ¼ cup Herbes de Provence
- 6 bay leaves
- Put all ingredients, except the 7 quarts of filtered water in a large pot.
- Stir in all the ingredients until salt and honey are dissolved.
- Pour the heated mixture over the turkey then add the rest of the 7 quarts of filtered water in a large pot with ice to top.
- Continue to add ice as you check it a couple times daily.
- Be sure to brine your turkey 2 days before cooking and no later than the morning, the day before Thanksgiving Dinner.
Tips for Making the Best Thanksgiving Turkey
One of the other tips that I have used is to stick a whole onion and a full flower of healthy garlic into the cavity of the turkey. So basically I break out all the cloves in the flower and put those in there. This makes the turkey come out really tender. It’s actually Eric’s favorite spot on the turkey!
Usually, I’ll finish the turkey off with a big bunch of rosemary and parsley from my garden. I bend it and stuff it in the bird as much as I can. All of these steps make the most delicious Thanksgiving bird ever!
Something else I discovered is that if I didn’t incorporate the herbs in everything else, then it tasted different within the context of the meal because, of course, you want the Thanksgiving meal flavors to mesh with one another on the plate, even though all the flavors are different. And this turkey brine seems to be one of the best recipes that we’ve ever come up with.
Once turkey is done, I cook the organ meat separately in the same mixture. And the smell that comes off of it is simply marvelous. Then I actually use this as the start of the bone broth.
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