Raise your hand if you've ever had a Thanksgiving turkey that was dry and lacked flavor. OK! Put your hand down, people will look at you funny. The point is, we all have right? Well, last year during the holidays I visited a close friend of my sister and her father was cooking up the seasonal bird. I happened to take a peek over his shoulder while he was preparing the brine and couldn't believe what I saw. Is that a Christmas Tree? Low and behold he was using spruce branches (taken from an ornamental blue spruce or Norway spruce) in his briney bath for the turkey to give it a woodsy taste, as he described it. Essentially you're soaking the turkey overnight in this brine and it infuses the meat with flavor and keeps it from drying out. I got a quick photo of the brine and secured this special turkey brine recipe for you. He's a true foodie and loves to cook so you might think the ingredient list is excessive. Don't feel compelled to use all the ingredients. Try it out though and be sure to tell us how it goes.
For the Brine:
For the Turkey: 1 fresh turkey, 18 to 20 pound fresh A 2 by 2 foot square of cheesecloth 2 pounds (eight sticks) butter, melted and kept warm. Spruce limbs for garnish