This brine recipe works great for brining chicken and brining turkey as well as any other poultry like game hens. The quantities in the recipe below are scaled to brine a 3 to 4 pound chicken. If you want to use it for a turkey just double or triple it. The great thing about brines is that there are no scaling nightmares to contend with. If you have a 12,500 gallon pool you could literally multiply the recipe by 10,000. You could brine an elephant.
When I brine proteins I usually brine them for 24 hours. After brining I rinse the protein under fresh running water, blot it dry with paper towels, and allow it to completely air dry in the refrigerator, usually overnight.
This does a couple of things. First, it allows the salt in the protein to reach a point of equilibrium within the protein. Second, by thoroughly air drying, the skin or outside of the meat, will develop a better maillard reaction, it caramelizes better.
This is why brining takes planning, I can't just decide at 3:30 in the afternoon that I am going to make brined roasted game hens, for dinner that same night.
However, the benefits more than outweigh the inconvenience because the meat always comes out moist, tender and juicy which is the whole point of brining in the first place.
Brining poultry in a saltwater mixture before you cook adds moisture and flavor to the meat while tenderizing it.
When you add your poultry to the brine solution, the brine should be below 40° F / 4° C. In other words, below the minimum temperature for the danger zone, 40° - 140° F / 4° - 60° C.
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