Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Join Carol at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall level 2 in Denver on April 21,10:30 am during the GFAF Expo Conference. See you there!

Brining the Holiday Turkey for the Best Flavor

For several years now, I have brined my holiday bird to get marvelous flavor and juiciness. Yes, it means a little more work but the end result is well worth the effort. The following information appeared in my weekly online cookbook, but I thought you would like to know about it, too.

Brining the turkey makes it juicy and delicious.

What Is Brining?

Brining, much like baking, is a scientific process. In a nutshell, it means soaking meat in a salty solution. The salt solution unwinds meat proteins to form a hollow tube. The brine solution travels into the protein, carrying the flavors of the herbs and other ingredients. The solution becomes trapped inside — creating a delicious, juicy turkey that is hard to beat.

The base of a brine should be kosher salt and sugar per gallon of water. With this ratio, you should brine your turkey at least 10-24 hours, although some experts recommend no more than 8 hours. Personally, I usually brine the turkey overnight for about 12 hours (more or less).

Carol’s Brine Recipe

I start with a fresh bird from my local health food store. That way, I know there are no unwanted elements in it… just turkey. Then I assemble the brine.

The recipe I use for a 16-pound turkey is:

2 gallons water

1 1/3 cups coarse salt

½ cup sugar

2 large bay leaves

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 whole clove (or a dash of ground cloves)

Place 1 cup of the water in a small pan, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until the sugar dissolves. Cool for 10 minutes. Then combine it with the rest of the water in your container and add the thawed bird. Brine for about 12 hours.

Choosing a Container for Brining

The main logistical problem with brining is figuring out in what and where to brine your turkey. You can use a clean bucket, a brining bag, a tub or a cooler. Brining bags from Williams Sonoma (the best brining bags) hold up to a 22-pound turkey and can be easily placed inside a cooler or in the fridge.

Since brining does not preserve meat, the turkey and brine must be kept refrigerated at all times.

Some turkey experts complain that brining makes the turkey and the gravy too salty. Be sure to rinse the bird well before cooking. Do not salt the turkey before roasting in case too much salt seeps in, same for your gravy.

A final note on cooking the turkey:  When I was first married, my parents scoured garage sales to find a black granite-ware covered roasting pan for me. They knew that it cooks a perfect turkey every time and they wanted me to have one. They were right; I have never cooked a turkey in anything but this pan and it comes out perfect every time. Maybe that’s why I have always felt that roasting a turkey was extremely simple and foolproof; perhaps one of the easiest gluten-free cooking that I do. You can find similar roasting pans in cooking stores and online.

Happy Thanksgiving!