Bourbon Brined Turkey

Turkey is a staple of the holiday season. We’ve all had delicious turkey, and we’ve all had turkey that was a little bit, ahem, dry. Making a brine for your turkey will seal in all of the natural juices while seasoning the entire bird in one easy step and help create a beautiful brown skin worthy of the main dish centerpiece of your holiday meal. We have created an easy recipe for brine that adds a little bit of bourbon flavor to your turkey. It’s so good you’ll be cooking turkeys year round! It also works great with chicken, pork chops, and shellfish; just half or quarter the recipe to suit your needs!

2 gallons water (separated, 1 gallon iced, 1 at room temp)
1 cup Belle Meade Bourbon
1 cup kosher salt
¾ cup molasses
2 T vanilla
1 T Worcestershire sauce
fresh thyme sprigs

In a large stock pot, combine 1 gallon room temperature water with salt, molasses, vanilla, and Worcestershire. Over medium heat, stir all ingredients until completely dissolved and combined. Boiling is not necessary. Remove from heat. Add bourbon, and stir to combine. Add ice water and stir until brine is cool. Place your turkey in a container large enough to hold it. Pour brine mixture over turkey to completely cover the bird. Add thyme sprigs. Cover your container with a lid or plastic wrap and store in refrigerator overnight or up to 48 hours. Remove turkey from brine and discard liquid. Fry or roast your turkey according to your usual method.