This Thanksgiving brine comes from Chef Randall Jacobs, executive chef at Elate, a River North hotspot for new American cuisine and brunch. The secret? Giant ziplock bags, like the kind this new father says he uses to store the clothes his 1-year-old is constantly outgrowing. See more Thanksgiving recipes from Chicago chefs.
- 1/2 gallon water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1 ounce fresh rosemary
- 1 ounce fresh sage
- 1 ounce fresh thyme
- 1 ounce oregano
- 3/4 gallon ice
- Peel of two oranges
- In a large stock pot combine water, sugar, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve salt and sugar.
- Place ice in a large bowl; remove mixture from heat and pour over ice and add orange peel.
- Pass through a chinois and reserve both liquid and dry ingredients separately.
- Wash and dry turkey and remove innards. Place the turkey in the bag and add dry ingredients. Place bagged turkey in a large mixing bowl, being sure that the bag opening is upright.
- Slowly pour the brine into the bag, covering the turkey ¾ of the way. Remove excess air, allowing the turkey to be better submerged
- Seal the bag (reinforce with duct tape) and place in refrigerator overnight.
- Remove, carefully drain off excess brine and pat dry. Discard brine and prepare turkey according to your recipe.