Best Ever Keto-Friendly No Sugar Sweet & Spicy Citrus Brining Mix: works well with turkey, chicken, duck, shrimp or pork.
This is my go-to brine recipe that I’ve been tinkering with for years. I’ve used it to make uber-delicious chicken, turkey, pork, duck and even shrimp. The holidays are a special time for our family here in California. I usually fire up the smoker for that ever so delicious holiday dinner. There is nothing like the smell of sweet smoke in air, with a glass of local pinot noir – all in flip flops in November and December.
2 2/3 cups kosher salt
1 teaspoon stevia powder or concentrate liquid (you can also substitute 1 cup organic cane sugar if you like sugar)
3 tablespoons herbs de Provence
2 tablespoons garlic powder (no salt)
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cloves
2 tablespoons whole rainbow peppercorns
2 tablespoons juniper berries
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
½ tablespoon allspice berries
½ tablespoon powdered ginger
8 fresh bay leaves
5 stems fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 stems fresh sage
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley (stems ok)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 organic lemons
3 organic oranges
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
12 cups water
4 cups apple cider
10 pounds ice cubes (if you are in a hurry)
2 to 4 Chile de Arbol, depending on desired spiciness
Notes: This recipe yields enough spice to flavor up to 1 gallon of brine.
1. Directions: for 1 gallon of brine combine all dry spices in a small sauce pan (except, salt, sugar) and toast over medium heat until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 4 cups apple cider and 2 cups of water (of your 1-gallon water), along with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 2/3 salt, 1 teaspoon stevia (or 1 cup sugar) and remaining ingredients stirring to dissolve salt. Bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Let the boiled, spiced brine cool completely before adding it back to the remaining water.
2. Let the brine return to room temperature before pouring it over the turkey.
Tip: if you are in a hurry you can add about 6 pounds of ice to the brine mixture.
IMPORTANT: To avoid potential bacteria growth, never pour hot or warm brine over a raw turkey.
3. Bag the Turkey
Arrange a turkey-sized brining bag in a large roasting pan, folding back the opening to form a collar. Place the turkey into the brining bag and pour the brine over the bird. Squeeze out any excess air in the bag, ensuring that the turkey is covered in liquid, and secure it closed.
Brining and oven-roasting bags are available at supermarkets and kitchenware shops, but if you can’t find either, you can also use a large canning pot or even a well-scrubbed ice chest.
4. Keep the Turkey Cold and Let It Brine for 8 to 18 Hours
5. Pop the turkey into the fridge and let it brine for 12 hours (and up to 18 hours). Just don’t leave the turkey in the brine for longer than 24 hours—over-brining can render the bird too salty and turn texture of the meat spongy. If you still aren’t ready to roast the turkey after 18 hours, you can remove it from the brine, rinse it, and refrigerate it for as long as two days (leaving it uncovered for part of this time will give you a crisper skin, as described below).
6. Rinse and thoroughly dry the turkey
A wet-brined turkey can be slow to brown in the oven, so, for the best results, remove the turkey from the brine 8 to 12 hours before you plan to roast it. Rinse and thoroughly pat it dry with paper towels and let it sit in the refrigerator, uncovered, until roasting, to thoroughly dry the surface (that’s what makes the skin all crispy).
Tip: After brining loosen the skin from the breast and slip slices of unsalted butter and a few sprigs of rosemary, sage, and thyme between the breast and the skin.