Holiday Wining and Brining by Kelly Montgomery November 25, 2013 by Jill Foucre Leave a Comment What’s all this fuss about brining the turkey ? If you’re like me, you have a long list of things to do to prepare an epic holiday meal. Do you really need to add yet another task to the list? Grandma never brined! (Or did she?) Sure, you’re willing to go to great lengths to present a beautiful, succulent bird to your holiday guests. But does brining really make a difference? While there are plenty of science-y explanations of why brining works, all we really need to know is that brining diffuses moisture into the cells and alters the proteins in the muscle tissue, increasing the meat’s ability to hold on to liquid. The result: a tastier, juicier and more tender bird. And by the way, it has the same effect on other meats – see the chart below. While a brine can certainly be as simple as salty water, it’s a clever way to sneak in more depth and flavor. Try some of these add-ins: sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, fruit juice, beer, peppercorns, herbs, spices, garlic, cider, bay leaves, lemon or orange slices, crushed garlic cloves. As the bird is having a nice long soak, the brine will work its magic while you get on with the rest of your list. I find this to be an excellent time for some of that “wining”! There are great brine recipes out there or of course we have a wonderful ready-made brining blend from Victoria Gourmet at Marcel’s. All you need to add is water and a bird. We also carry a spicy version that I’m intrigued about. So go ahead and pour yourself a fine brine and savor the season! Happy Thanksgiving!