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For the last few years, I’ve been a firm believer in brining turkeys. The results speak for themselves. I’m a dark meat guy and, of all the white meats, turkey breast was the one I feared the most. But a brined bird will give you moist flavorful white meat. Here’s all you need to know.

There’s a separate challenge with turkey breast which comes from the high position of the breast meat in the oven. By the time the thighs fully cook, the breasts get overdone. The solution is to butterfly the bird:

Take a big sharp knife and cut through the bones along either side of the backbone from head to tail. Remove the spine and save for stock, then take a small knife or shears and remove the ribs. I then take a knife and score the inside of the breast bone right down the center. Flip the bird over and press down on the outside of the breast until the bone underneath snaps and the bird lays flat. Now the thighs sit at the same height as the breasts, allowing them to cook evenly. Tie the ends of the legs together and tuck the wing tips under the body to keep things tidy. You can do the butterflying either before or after brining – though doing it first will help you fit the bird into a smaller brining vessel.

Good luck and have a great holiday!


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