Brining the Bird and Food at Captain Jeff’s

After debating whether we should fry the turkey, grill the turkey, or just stick the turkey in the oven, we went with the original idea of putting the turkey in a brine and letting it marinate overnight prior to roasting.  Apparently you can’t brine a bird and then fry it, so we decided to brine it and just doing the stand-by oven method combined with a really good dry rub that we’ve used in the past.

This was our first time brining the turkey, so we weren’t sure what we were doing.

After research and talking to our friends Linda and Jeff (who first introduced us to a brined turkey last Thanksgiving), as well as suggestions we got from our radio show yesterday, we went out and bought a 5 gallon bucket with a lid from the hardware store.

The brine itself was really easy.  We just filled the bucket with 1.5 gallons of water, a cup of salt, and 3/4 cup brown sugar.

We then took it an extra step and added a bunch of fresh herbs to the mix, along with about 4 cloves of crushed garlic.

Before we even started cooking the turkey, the brine solution already smelled awesome.

After making the brine, we added the bird to the bucket and added a bunch of ice.

Below is a photo of the turkey in the bucket with brine just before we added ice.

After the turkey was done and Jennifer finished prepping a few other things for tonight, we packed into the van and headed to Jeff and Linda’s.

See how Linda is a blur in the photo below?  Yeah, that’s really how she is.  She’s like the Flash in the kitchen.  Amazing hostess extraordinaire.

Here we’re all waiting to dive into the food.  My folks are on the left and Jennifer’s mom is the one talking to Jennifer.

Father Roderick enjoying a beer and waiting for the food, as well.

Believe it or not, this picture was actually taken before all of the rest of the spread was added to the table.  Food a’plenty!

My first plate.  A photo of my second and third plates would have been redundant.

Lots of fun, lots of food, and more in store tomorrow.  I’m tellin’ ya, I love Thanksgiving.

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About the Author
Greg is married to Jennifer. They've got five kids.

2 comments on Brining the Bird and Food at Captain Jeff’s

  1. Andy from Cincy says:

    Looks goooooooooooooood!!! Thanks for sharing. How about some turkey day pics too??? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. God Bless.

  2. angelapea says:

    Whoo-Hoo! Brined turkey is the best…that’s the way I always cook it. I also toss in several tablespoons of cracked red chilis,cumin, allspice, cloves, and cracked pepper, plus celery hearts, leeks and carrots to the brine. Oh Heaven!

    BTW, Jennifer – if you plan to brine a turkewy again, I suggest taking a BIG, FAT sharpie and writing “Mom’s Bucket! For FOOD ONLY!!” on the side of that bucket, and HIDE it somewhere safe! If not, I guarantee that some testosterone laden family member will use it to change oil, mix pesticides, or carry paint. Ask me how I know…

    angelapea

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