Just some tips to mention before you start your brining. Make sure your turkey is fresh or thawed out completely if frozen. Also, you can either set the turkey in a large 5-gallon container, or a brining bag, which you can find at Whole Foods. You can also get them on Amazon here. Brining bags are like a huge ziplock bag, and are actually really sturdy. It does help if you have a friend help you hold the bag while you place the ingredients in. I also like that you can smush it into the refrigerator. The last tip, is make sure you get your bird early enough. You need to start brining your bird the morning before you plan to eat the turkey (at least for this recipe). So have your bird thawed and ready on Tuesday night, brine on Wednesday, and cook on Thursday.
Ingredients for Riesling Brine from Martha Stewart Living, November 2008:
-7 quarts water (28 cups)
-1 1/2 cups kosher salt
-6 bay leaves
-2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
-1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
-2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
-1 tablespoon fennel seeds
-1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
-1 fresh whole turkey (18-20 pounds) patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver for stuffing
-1 bottle dry Riesling
-2 medium onions, thinly sliced
-6 garlic cloves, crushed
-1 bunch fresh thyme
Bring 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice onions and garlic. Place onions, garlic, and thyme in the bag or container. Place turkey on top and pour in Riesling. I like to pour in about half the remaining water (3 quarts), then the spice mixture, then the rest of the water (3 quarts), so everything gets mixed well, and the warm spice mixture doesn't directly hit the bird.
If the turkey is not submerged, weigh it down with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping the turkey breast side down once in the middle of brining.