Sunday, November 27, 2005

Completely Subjective Brining Results

Using the technique (sans the Buckshot element; the tree rats must have sensed danger) described in an earlier entry, two seperate turkeys and two different days were used as test events. Sunday, November 20th and Thanksgiving Day, November 24th were the dates to test out brining times on seperate subjects, errr..., guests. The Nov. 20th 8 lb. turkey breast was dunked in the brine for about 6 hours while the T-day bird was in the saline solution for 12 hours.
Same mixture concoction.
(Relatively) same turkey weight.
Same cooking method.
The consensus was surprising, well, at least for me. The shorter brine swim of 6 hours resulted in a juicier bird, not that the 12 hour dunk was bad. I'd expected the longer duration would have resulted in more juices, especially when the 6 brining recipes I'd used as reference points all pointed to an optimal soak of 12-16 hours.
But, there was a positive side to the longer brine soak.
More turkey was left over from the second go-around, which made trying out Mr. Daddy-O's Southwest Turkey Chili recipe easy.
As I'd mentioned in the an earlier piece, I am no fan of turkey. It's a custom not a treat. There was serious discussion for future turkeys to be faux birds, i.e., taxidermy specials. Display said fake, spray some eau de turkey around the bird and then sit back and enjoy fried chicken, everyone's preference anyway. After the initial investment, it would certainly be a bargain. Just wrap it in plastic and pack it with the Christmas ornaments.
But, Mr. Daddy-O's Southwest Turkey Chili was a revelation. I followed the recipe to the T, substituting only strained Tuscan tomatoes for the tom-juice and adding a tsp of cinnamon and a tsp & 1/2 Hershey's raw chocalate powder. The taste is sublime, the resulting chili sauce a joy to roll around one's tongue, the turkey...well the turkey actually tasted of something. Go there and test it out for yourself. You'll be looking forward to leftovers. This recipe will be high on my comfort food list.

Okay, here's my leftover recipe.

1. Leave turkey carcass in basement 72 hours.

2. Stuff aged carcass with mixture nine parts leftover squash to one part superglue.

3. Soak in gasoline 24 hours.

4. Take to neighbor's porch and set afire.

5. Ring doorbell.

6. Run.

7. Have tuna sandwich at home.
I'm guessing the brine contributed in no small way to the culinary success of the chili. As for me, I'll happily leave the turkey roasting to the (ahem) girls, and claim the left-overs as I wash the dishes.
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