Brined turkey is the key to a juicy bird. This brine uses a combination of olive juice and buttermilk for a hint of umami and sweetness.
Before cooking a turkey, I always recommend brining it. You can go with a wet brine where the bird sits in a bag of liquid, or a dry brine, where the bird is rubbed with seasoning and allowed to rest overnight.
Most wet brines for Thanksgiving include water, sugar, salt and herbs.
Brines for fried chicken however often include buttermilk and hot sauce.
So this brine is a variation on both.
The brine includes a combination of buttermilk, olive juice and peperoncinis along with aromatics. The olive juice, most often used for mixing a martini, provides an added umami flavor, while the buttermilk breaks down the bird to help it reach it’s juiciest state.
The peperoncinis are there to provide an element of heat that’s not too spicy.
You’ll brine the bird overnight, and then rinse it thoroughly before stuffing the cavity with lemons, celery, garlic, onion and fresh herbs.
These ingredients are not meant to be a stuffing that you eat. They’re tucked in there to flavor the turkey from the inside out.
Set your grill up to cook at a medium heat. This one was actually done on a gas grill.
In about 2 hours, the bird reached the magical point of 165 F degrees inside. You’ll want to baste it every 30 minutes or so to add even more flavor and color.