OMG, I have to share this delicious Paleo Turkey Brine! I always brine my Turkey prior to popping it in the oven on Thanksgiving. Why? Two reasons – it keeps the meat moist (meaning you get a juicier turkey) and it helps season the turkey (meaning you get a tastier turkey). It’s easy too, so let’s get started!
BTW, I would like to give a shout out to Paleo Spirit’s Holiday Brine as it is the one that inspired this one. That recipe is pretty great too, so if you hate mine, maybe you can try that one – haha! Anyway, my brine’s more Asian flavored as I use more Chinese ingredients such as Sichuan Peppercorn and Star Anise. I mean, being Asian myself… I had plenty of star anise and Sichuan peppercorn in my pantry to begin with, so that was easy! 🙂
- 1 thawed or unfrozen Turkey
- 1/2 cup Star Anise
- 6 Bay Leaves
- 1 tbsp of Thyme
- 1 tbsp of Rosemary
- 3 tbsp Sichuan Peppercorn
- 1 medium Orange
- 1/4-1/2 cup of Honey
- 6 cloves of Garlic, crushed
- 2 cups Sea Salt
- 1 gallon of water
1. Cut orange in to a few (like 6) wedges.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients together (Star Anise, Bay Leaves, Thyme, Rosemary, Sichuan Peppercorn, and Sea Salt).
3. In a large pot, add a gallon of water.
4. Squeeze the orange’s juice in to the water, and then go ahead and just throw the wedges in to the pot too.
5. Add in all the dry ingredients and the crushed garlic and honey.
6. Bring to a boil – btw, your kitchen will smell pretty delicious at this point!
7. Now, remove from heat and add a bunch of ice! To be honest, you’re going to have to judge how much by yourself because I don’t know how huge your Turkey and Brining Bag or Brining Container is. (I use a GIANT stock pot.) But you have to do this because you have to cool down this Turkey Brine mixture completely before you brine the turkey in it. This is going to take…. a while, to say the least.
8. After it is cooled down, put the Turkey in the brining bag or container you are using and then add the turkey brine mixture. If you need more liquid, go ahead and add cold water.
9. Now, close the bag or cover the container and place in the fridge either over night or up to a whole day. Technically, the bigger the Turkey – the longer you should brine it. I had a 12 lb Turkey this year, and I brined it for about 16 hours and it was perfect.
10. [Optional] Flip the Turkey for even brining halfway through to get the brine to hit all sides the turkey more evenly.
11. Remove Turkey from brine and prepare for Roasting in Oven like normal!