Wednesday, November 27, 2013

That's one #JuicyBird! Thanks @KikkomanKitchens and @Smiley360

Are you still wondering how to make your bird juicy and moist with a great crispy skin? Well, Let me tell you that Wes and I tried something awesome last week, and we are doing it again for Thanksgiving: Brining! 
I have not brined a bird before because it seemed like an extra hassle and an unnecessary extra step. Now that I have tried it, I can tell you it is a very worth while step and was not nearly as difficult as I thought it might be! 

Before I tell you about my #JuicyBird Brining with Kikkoman's experience, I want to tell you a little about Brining and about using Kikkoman's soy sauce to do so. From Kikkoman's:
The act of brining is simply salting food, usually a process of letting meat sit in a mixture of salt, spices and water for at least 24 hours. But take your brining to another level by adding the taste of umami to your Thanksgiving meal with Kikkoman Soy Sauce. All-purpose Kikkoman Soy Sauce is naturally brewed from wheat, soybeans, water and salt. Like fine wine, Kikkoman Soy Sauce is aged for several months to develop its characteristic rich, yet mellow flavor, appetizing aroma and distinctive reddish-brown color.

Besides using it in traditional Asian dishes, try it in mainstream American foods, classic Mediterranean dishes or exotic Caribbean cuisine.
I had honestly not thought of using soy sauce for my Thanksgiving turkey before this mission from @Smiley360, but I am so glad I tried it! Let's talk about that now!

I was sent a bucket to brine my bird in, and 2 free coupons for Kikkoman's products as well as a recipe to try. First, Here is the recipe right from the Kikkoman's site (You will want to keep this handy):

Savory Turkey Brine

Ingredients (Recipe for a 16-24 pound turkey)

2 gallons Cold Water
10 ounces Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dried sage
2 tablespoons dried celery seed
1 tablespoon dried thyme


The night before roasting, remove giblets and turkey neck; rinse turkey inside and out. In a large stock pot or 5 gallon bucket mix water with remaining ingredients. Stir well until all the salt is dissolved. Place turkey in the pot cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. Remove turkey from the brine, rinsing well. Follow your regular cooking instructions.
I took step by step pictures for your enjoyment. (Be prepared to drool). First we gathered our ingredients:
Wes began to put the brine mix together for me:
Here's the turkey in the brine:
Then we sealed it overnight to soak and get all full of flavor and moistness.
In the morning I rinsed the turkey as instructed to do then followed my regular cooking instructions (which means I added some butter to the skin to make it crisp and yummy, and stuffed it with herbs). Here's the bird ready to be cooked:
Then a few hours later, this delectable, #JuicyBird came out of the oven and went into our bellies:
I thought the turkey was super moist and had an awesome flavor! It was actually the moistest turkey meat I have even made! I was super happy with it and guess what? So were the kiddos. Here are a couple of them enjoying their turkey:

Kikkoman's has so many other fabulous recipes, like this one: 
Kikkoman Chicken Brine Recipe:
2 cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce
2 Gallons water
1 1/2 Cups Kosher Salt
8 Cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
4 dried bay leaves
1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 Cup brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large food safe container. Whisk until salt and sugar are totally dissolved. Place meat into brine. Leave in brine about 1 hour per pound of meat. Once done brining, pat meat dry before cooking. Roast the chicken and baste with Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

There is also an awesome looking Brined Brussel Sprout recipe among others. You can see the Kikkoman recipe collection online here

By way of disclosure, I was sent the brining bucket, 2 free coupons for Kikkoman's products, recipes and information for the purposes of me doing this review. Thanks you Kikkoman and @Smiley360 for providing these items so I could have such a #JuicyBird!