The Holiday season has arrived and for many of us, myself included, Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve is
our favorite time of year to cook for friends and family. Whether I’m grilling a whole turkey or roasting a
whole chicken or duck, I have been using these two recipes together for many years now.
The salty, peppery citrus of the dry brine is balanced out by the sweet, tangy citrus of the cranberry relish. Too
much citrus you say? No way! The dried orange and lemon zests in the brine are mild compared to the salt and herbs surrounding them. The orange zest and juice in the relish are there to add a little balance to the tangy sweetness of the cranberry and sugar. I hope you get a chance to enjoy these recipes together, but feel free to try one or the other.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any recipe questions or comments. Stay tuned for a series of cooking classes coming up in early 2019.
Spiced Citrus Dry Brine
- 3 Lemons zested
- 5 Oranges zested
- ¼ C. Rosemary picked and chopped
- ¼ C. Thyme picked
- ¼ C. Sage picked and chopped
- ½ C. Kosher salt
- ¼ C. Black pepper fresh cracked
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Spread the orange and lemon zest out on one pan and the herbs on the other. There should be plenty of room so distribute them around the entire pan. Place pans in oven. Set timer for 8 minutes. After each timer stir the zests and herbs around and spread out again and place back in the oven. Do this 2 more times. In total about 24 minutes. It is important to stir the pans in intervals to assure even drying. When the zests and herbs are dried, toss them in a small bowl with the salt and pepper.
Whatever your bird of choice is you will start by rinsing and thoroughly drying your bird. I like to place my dried bird on a small sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb any remaining moisture. I also pour ½ of the dry brine into a small bowl. I usually don’t use it all and by splitting the brine you discourage cross contamination. You can put the leftover brine in a small mason jar and store for up to 3 months.
Once the bird is dry start separating the skin from the entire breast by working your fingers under the skin and slowly crawling your fingers side to side until you’ve reached the back end of the breast. Start rubbing the dry brine all over the bird, making sure to get the back side and in between the folds of the wings and leg joints, and under the skin. Try to evenly distribute the dry brine. Make space on a sturdy shelf in your refrigerator and place the bird inside, uncovered, overnight, for up to 12 hours.
When ready to cook remove from refrigerator and rinse as much brine off as you can. It’s ok to have a little brine stuck to the bird here and there. Dry the bird thoroughly and transfer it to the cooking vessel of your choice and cook the bird to the specifications of the recipe you’re following.
- 1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
- 2 Oranges zested, 1 juiced, 1 peeled
- ½ C. Sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
Place ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until chopped and thoroughly incorporated.
Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 hours or overnight.
*Strain any excess liquid before serving.
Best stored in a mason jar for up to a week.
The strained liquid can be used to make a tasty Bourbon or Vodka cocktail.