This is my go-to brine recipe whenever I cook a whole chicken or turkey. And yes, I ALWAYS use it on our Thanksgiving turkey when November rolls around.*
There’s no need to season the meat when you use this brine. The bay leaf, garlic, and Italian seasoning add plenty of flavor on their own. And the addition of brown sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness to the salty brine.
After you make the brine, cool completely before using it. Marinate the meat in it for at least an hour before cooking (24 hours is best).
By the way, if you’re looking for some delicious dinner recipes, check out my cookbook Beach House Dinners.
*Double the recipe for a 10- to 14-pound turkey. Flip turkey halfway through brining time.
Brine For Juicy, Tender Chicken Or Turkey
- Toast the peppercorns over medium heat in a medium pot.
- After peppercorns are fragrant and toasted, add 1 3/4 cups water, brown sugar, salt, bay leaves, garlic and herbs. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar.
- Remove from heat and add 1 3/4 cups cold water. Let cool completely before using.