Quick Brine

I’m not the biggest brining spokesperson in the world. I feel that the most important thing about cooking a tender, juicy bird is the cooking of it, not the brining of it. However, this brine recipe I found from Mario Batali actually does make a difference and it adds a subtle flavor that reminds me of meat roasting in the oven and fall.

1 cup kosher salt
1 stick cinnamon
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1/2 cup apple cider
2 quarts boiling water
2 quarts ice

In a container large enough to hold your chicken or turkey, combine the salt, cinnamon, rosemary, and cider. Pour in the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Next, stir in the ice and add your bird which should be completely submerged (you may need to put a plate on top of it) in the brine and refrigerated for 1-4 hours. I ended up adding a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to the brine and I only used a little more than a quart of ice and let the brine sit in the fridge briefly to make up for the lost ice. When your bird is done in the brine, pat it dry and only add about 1/3 of the salt that you would normally apply to the outside.