Columnist Ken Wilson describes how to brine a turkey. Photo submitted

Columnist Ken Wilson describes how to brine a turkey. Photo submitted

Brining a turkey for Christmas an art in itself

Columnist Ken Wilson explores one way to cook a turkey in his latest column

Ken Wilson

Special to the Tribune Advisor

Only three more sleeps until the fat man comes around to bring us Christmas gifts.

I didn’t send in my list to Santa this year because I really don’t need anything, except to win a trip to Hawaii or some other warm place.

When I was a youngster I wanted to stay up as late as possible so that I might see Santa, his sleigh and reindeer and a big box or presents. Unfortunately I could never stay awake that long.

Christmas is more than presents … it is a time for love and happiness.

I am going to get a 12-pound turkey and will brine it for 24 hours before putting it in the oven.

I will use two cups of salt and then put in enough water in the brining bag so it covers the bird. After the turkey is cleaned I will mix up some butter and good maple syrup.

Then it’s time to add some sage with the mixture and then carefully rub it under the skin on the breast and thighs.

I will put some of the mixture on the outside of the bird with a little salt to crisp the skin and help brown in.

Halfway through the cooking I will do another rub with the maple syrup mixture. My wife makes the stuffing but it does not go in the turkey, instead I will cut up a couple of apples and put them in the cavity. It helps keep the bird more moist than it already will be after the brining.

I will put the turkey in the oven at seven in the morning of Christmas Day and keep it around 180-200 degrees all day.

This slow cooking makes the turkey even more moist with the only drawback being most of the moisture stays inside the turkey and there is not a lot left for the gravy.

I can almost taste the ol’ turkey as I’m sitting here writing this.

I hope your Christmas will be memorable, and you are able to share it with family and friends.

May the love of the Lord be with you this Christmas.

Bye for now and Gooood Cooking!

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.