A week ago I cooked a turkey for the first time. I’d never really had a reason to make one before. For Thanksgiving, my mom, grandma, or some other family member has always had turkey duty. I was just in charge of eating duty.
You might be wondering what prompted me to finally cook a turkey. Although I love to bake, I’m trying to hone my cooking skills as well. So when Wish-Bone asked me to be one of their Chief Turkey Officers this year, I jumped at the chance.
You also might be asking yourself what Wish-bone salad dressing has to do with turkey. Well, you can use their Italian (or Robusto Italian) dressing as a brine to get a really moist and juicy turkey. I mean, it makes a great marinade, so why not a brine? Plus, the flavor is fabulous! Who knew?
Well, apparently a lot of people. Since lots of folks seem to be using Wish-bone as a brine, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and give it a try too! The process is simple. The night before you plan to cook it, place your thawed turkey in a large plastic bag. Add in chicken broth and your Wish-Bone dressing and tightly close the bag. Then, pop it in the refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight. That’s it.
Let the turkey sit in the brine in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or overnight, and you are set for a delicious, juicy bird.
I wasn’t making stuffing with my turkey, so I put a quartered orange and quartered onion inside. This added a wonderful savory, citrus flavor to the meat.
After my turkey had been in the oven for a few hours, my house smelled ah-mazing and my turkey was ready. I gave it a quick basting and let it set for about 15 minutes before slicing.
The flavor was so wonderful, and the brine really kept the turkey moist. I was immensely pleased with the success of my first turkey cooking venture. (Thanks, Wish-Bone!)
If you want to give this a try, check out the full recipe below. Enjoy and Happy Turkey Day!
How to Brine A Turkey
- 1 turkey 12 – 16 lbs.
- 2 bottle Wish-bone Robusto Italian Dressing
- 1 can 14.5 oz chicken broth
- Large food-safe plastic bag
- Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities; refrigerate for another use or discard. Place turkey breast side down in bag or container. Pour dressing and broth over turkey. Close bag or cover pan. Marinate in refrigerator 12 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove turkey from bag or pan; discard brine.
- Place turkey on a flat rack in a roasting pan; add 1 cup of water to bottom of pan. (I also placed a quartered onion and orange inside the turkey for a citrusy, savory flavor.)
- Cook 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reaches 180°F. Cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil after the first 30 minutes to prevent turkey from getting to dark. Let turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.