Instructables

'Bacon' Brined Turkey (or Chicken)

Featured
Just in time for Christmas - but you can use this method any time - for turkey or chicken ((or TURDUCKEN, duck,  dodo, goose, crow, albatross etc))

There's nothing new about brining poultry - it makes the meat so moist and tasty.  Likewise, there's nothing new about 'barding' your bird with some bacon on the breast to give the outside a bit of baconey flavour.

This instructable combines the two ideas, and both tenderises and moisturises the meat and adds a hint of (smokey) bacon right through.  We came up with the recipe for last Christmas (being the distributor for J&Ds BaconSalt in UK) and it was really great!

This Christmas my daughter and her (American) family are spending the holiday here in MurkeySide, so we're going to show them that Brits can do at least as well as our Transatlantic Brethren when it comes to turkey-cooking!


 
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Ingredients & Equipment

Picture of Ingredients & Equipment
Oven (obvious, but you could use the BBQ in Summer)
Roasting tin with grill rack to fit inside
Meat thermometer (I like to be safe!)
2 'Oven bags' or 'Ziplock' bags - each big enough to hold the turkey
Container to put the bird and bags in whilst brining (see step 2)

Turkey - the recipe is for a bird about 4.5kg (10 lbs) but the brine ingredients below can be scaled for larger/smaller.  Don't buy a self-basting one for this method.
100gm (4 oz) Brown Sugar
50 gm (2 oz) Salt
5 tsp of BaconSalt **  (we prefer to use the Hickory or Applewood flavours, to give a smokey flavour)
1 Small bunch Fresh Thyme (or dried)
1 Bay Leaf
6 or 7 cloves of garlic, halved horizontally
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
1 Lemon, halved
Water - about 2.5 litres (5 pints) but see next step.
Optional - Black Lemon Powder, a little more brown sugar, and Olive oil for a 'rub'

**  Baconsalt is a low-salt spice blend that adds bacon flavour to foods.  It can be found in a number of USA stores, and can be bought online mail order from:
www.baconsalt.com  in USA  $4.50 per 2-oz shaker-jar, plus shipping
www.crazy4flavour.co.uk in Britain or Western Europe  £3.95 per jar including postage
The optional black lemon powder is also sold by crazy4flavour.

SpringRobin11 months ago
Thanksgiving is coming soon!! This is going to be good!
StuNutt (author)  SpringRobin11 months ago
Thanks Robin - Us Brits don't "do Thanksgiving", but I can assure you it's great!
We'll be using it again at Christmas (when we "do turkey"), but it's also a great way to cook the humble chicken too.

Brits (or anyone in Western Europe) can get BaconSalt from cray4flavour.co.uk, while in USA you can buy it at many stores including Wallmart, or by mail order from baconsalt.com.

Enjoy!

Stu
lemonie4 years ago
You need some of your own pictures in this.
Why Bernard Matthews?!

L
StuNutt (author)  lemonie1 year ago
Believe me, we DON'T need my advice on carving here - I can cook okay, but my carving is awful!

Bernard Mathews owns a lot of turkey farms and is a household name in UK. His carving techniques are on video id you follow the link
StuNutt (author)  lemonie4 years ago
I'm afraid that pictures of my carving would not be too attractive - I never get it quite right! There's lots of expert advice and step-by-steps on the internet, but why not Bernard's.

(BTW - Julie's eggs on your pickled egg recipe look teriffic - all yolk!)
lemonie StuNutt4 years ago
Yes the eggs are good. Bernard also produces/d those nasty turkey-rolls and other processed things, then there were those news stories concerning bird-flu & necessitated mass killings...? The carving tips are fine of course.

The method you've got sounds very good, but it could to with pictures of the things & steps to see.

L
StuNutt (author)  lemonie4 years ago
What more pictures would you ike to see?  I thought we'd covered everything 'visual' that was needed.  Have pity - it's our first instructable, so more experienced advice always welcome!
lemonie StuNutt4 years ago
The things you did, sugar, salt, herbs etc. the stages, more like this in composition. The visuals look better if they've not been lifted off someone else's website (well usually...)

L
StuNutt (author)  lemonie4 years ago
As you can see from above, plans have changed!  Our local "Lidls" (European) supermarket has Turduckens (so wifey tells me), so we're going to bacon-brine that and I'll post a full set of new pictures.

As the Turducken is 'off-bone', I'll even be able to post my carving!!
lemonie StuNutt4 years ago
"Turducken"? Sounds delicious...(?)

L
StuNutt (author)  lemonie4 years ago
Sadly, the ad Amanda saw was for Aldi's, not Lidl's, and the 'turducken' turned out to be turkey and duck only - plus a large quantity of stuffing  :(  The chances of me successfully boning-out a turkey, a duck, and a chicken, and having something looking good, are slim to zero (as already noted regarding my skills with a knife!)

So it looks like we are back to the Turkey plan (shame, because I'd have liked to try the turducken but I don't think they are available, ready-made, over here in UK).  I'll post more pictures then.

Stu
lemonie StuNutt4 years ago
That's interesting, I'll research turducken.

L
Wolfbird4 years ago
My meat always cooks horribly on the underside when I use my tin + rack combo. I keep doing it because I'm pigheaded about change and because I find it makes it easier to clean the pan afterwards (baked on skin is scour-tastic), but I wonder if I'm really the only person with this problem. My other pan is Pyrex, which also heats things quicker from what I notice.

Might be worth mentioning that you might expect to have to cook longer if you have your bird/roast on a rack over water. I went spazz on my roast pork last night because I forgot about this problem. My vegetables were all cold coz I judged the roast timing wrong :/
StuNutt (author)  Wolfbird1 year ago
I've not noticed a lot of difference and I use this technique often, for various joints of meat. I think the fact that water (team) cooks quicker than air probably makes up for the cooling effect of having water in the tray.
StuNutt (author) 4 years ago
A couple of the images were lifted of MY website (!) but I did 'borrow' a couple of others.  However, as I said before, we're cooking this again next week and I'll take some more pictures and update this Instructable.

I'll even see if I can carve as well as the Mathews pic - but I've never managed it before!

Thanks