free run juice

save wine, don’t brine

photo (1)I realized I never posted the results of last year’s wine brine project. Well here they are: BIG WASTE OF TIME! even worse, BIG WASTE OF WINE!!!

To recap, I’d never brined before. And by me I mean my mom, because let’s face it she’s the one cooking pretty much the whole meal. Honestly, if it were up to me I’d just order in the turkey and concentrate on cooking all the sides, but we’re all Italian and she gets horrified whenever I suggest that so I let her baste away all day.

So anyway, then I heard from Martha Stewart that you could add wine to the brine, so we decided to give it a whirl! Bad move. It freaking took forever, we had to find a huge pot to put the turkey in overnight, transport the whole heavy thing to the basement, and all for nothing – the turkey wasn’t any moister.

I guess it’s just props to my mom’s basting skills that our turkey isn’t really ever dry. Her baste: she boils chicken stock, the neck, gizzards (ew), bay leaf and celery. Then she puts a teeny bit of butter on the chicken skin and tents it with tinfoil, basting intermittently. There ya go. No time or wine misspent.

Wasted a whole  bottle of Riesling last year, and want to offer my apologizes to those poor grapes.  Here are the recommendations for some cheap but good bottles. The best really are from Germany (in my opinion), but you should also explore some American Rieslings since it’s Thanksgiving. A great Riesling region in the US is the Finger Lakes. They make it in the dry style too, which I think would be best for Thanksgiving dinner. Producers who’ve made ones I’ve liked: Hermann J. Wiemer, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Fox Run, and Red Newt.

What are you all going to drink on Thursday? Tag me on Twitter or Instagram @grapefriend!


7 thoughts on “save wine, don’t brine

  1. I think brining in general is a hoax….. I am glad that I didn’t waste wine on mine last year, but all that work made NO difference!

  2. We stuff the turkey, butter it, put onions under the appendages, put the whole thing in a roasting bag and then cook it in a roaster. Great tender turkey year after year and it frees up the kitchen to cook other dishes at the same time. I keep the wine for the chefs and the guests.

  3. My vote is still out on the whole brining thing as well. I’ve never done it and soaking the turkey in “stuff” for whatever reason, grosses me out. Ha! I do love those gizzards and livers and innards though! Best in the gravy. 🙂

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