Cotton Southern Bistro's Chef Jeff Brown showed how to make his Top Secret Turkey Brine.
1 gallon water
1/2 ounce ground cloves
1/2 ounce ground ginger
4 ounces cracked black peppercorns
12 bay leaves
1 pound kosher salt
24 ounces honey
24 ounces maple syrup
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 (10-pound) whole fresh turkey, giblets and neck removed and reserved for stock
2 apples, quartered and cored
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 rosemary sprigs
3 sprigs sage
Directions:-In a large stockpot, bring the water, cloves, ginger, black peppercorn, bay leaves and salt to a boil. Lower to a simmer and stir in the honey and maple syrup until well blended. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
-Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold tap water. Reserve the neck and specialty meats for pan gravy. Set the turkey in the brine, making sure that the turkey is fully immersed in the brine. Place a weight on top of the turkey to make sure it is always covered with brine. Marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight, depending on the weight of the turkey, in the refrigerator.
Mix together the butter, garlic, chopped rosemary, and sage to make a compound butter. Using your hands, loosen to the skin from the breast by gently inserting your fingers between the skin and the flesh. Rub the compound butter underneath the skin. Insert the apples, onions, and whole rosemary and sage into the cavity of the turkey.