Last year was my first time doing Christmas dinner all on my own… well, 98%; my mom provided me with the red rice so I didn’t have to mess it up. With The Husband having to work again this year it was a given that I would make Christmas dinner again. Truth be told, I think I’ve gotten spoiled staying in my own house on Christmas instead of dragging the kids to 2 or 3 houses over the course of the day when all they (we) really want to do is stay at home in our pajamas lounging in the midst of torn wrapping paper and ripped toy boxes. Cooking my own Christmas dinner – and having days worth of leftovers – is just a bonus.
Since last year was my first year making a turkey I had quite a bit of research to do to make sure it came out as close to perfect as possible. One thing I learned was how important the brine is to making sure your turkey is not only moist but that even the leftovers are moist, because who wants dry turkey?
My first brine had no flavor – just salt and sugar – but this time I wanted to try something a little different and since I had a little less than half a gallon of apple cider left. I was afraid that it would make the turkey taste like apples or cider, but it didn’t. I think next time I might try compound butter as well, but that’s a recipe for another day.