PEAR RIESLING TURKEY BRINE (enough for a 20 pound turkey)

Turkey, brine, pear, reisling and sage brine 1 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


1 quart water

1-½ cups commercial turkey brine (Williams Sonoma makes a good one) or homemade brine mix

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves, crushed

one bunch of thyme

one bunch sage

one bottle dry riesling

one bottle Martinelli’s sparkling apple pear cider

one 33.8 fluid ounce container Ceres pear juice

2 or more cups ice water (enough to submerge the bird)

1 turkey, 18 to 20 pounds

  1. Make the brine: Bring 1 quart water to boil with the commercial or home-made turkey brine mix.  Simmer over low heat, stirring, until brine dissolves, 5 to 10 minutes.  Let cool completely to room temperature, then chill overnight.
  2. Brine the turkey:   In a large pot, add the onion, garlic, sage and thyme to the brine mixture.  Add the riesling, cider, pear juice and ice water if necessary.
  3. Rinse the turkey under cold running water, remove the heart, neck, gizzard and liver from both cavities, and place turkey, breast down, in a large brining bag (heavy duty ones are available from Williams Sonoma and other kitchen stores)Put the bag inside a 5 gallon container (or, better still, a cooler), carefully pour in the brine and seal bag.  Weigh turkey down with a plate if it is not submerged.  Refrigerate (or leave in the cooler) for 24 to 36 hours.

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