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tukey to brineHolidays meals often center around turkey. Turkey, the traditional ‘bird’ for Thanksgiving can be delicious. Sadly however, it can be dry and not bursting with flavor. Fix that! It is easy! Commercial turkey or chicken, I must admit is not as flavorful as a free-range, organic bird. It really is true! Most people however pick their frozen bird out of the bin at the grocery store, bring it home, worry over thawing it in time, and bake it. Back up a bit! Make a wonderful brine with Ginger Ale. Brining a bird always results in a ultra-moist, delicious bird. I do this when roasting or grilling a chicken or turkey. It works for both! Wash and pat your turkey dry inside and out. Next place your thawed bird in a large container. A huge kettle, or even a plastic tub works great. Just be sure it will fit in your refrigerator! Next pour Ginger Ale in the container. You need to cover the bird so for a turkey it may take 2 litres. If you worry about the sugar, use diet Ginger Ale. To the liquid add 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon ground mustard, 1 tablespoon celery salt, 1 tablespoon ground thyme, and one tablespoon of garlic powder. Cover the container and refrigerate while brining your bird. You need to brine it anywhere from 8 hours, to overnight. Once ready to roast remove the turkey and place on an oiled  rack in a roasting pan sprayed with cooking spray. Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Generously rub your bird once you have placed it on the rack in your roasting pan with olive oil or butter. Sprinkle bird with a mix of one tablespoon each of ground thyme and sage. Salt and pepper generously. Roast the turkey uncovered for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue to roast until the turkey registers 160 degrees. You can purchase little pop-up poultry thermometers at most meat departments at larger grocery stores. The package your turkey came in should have a roasting guide. A 12 pound bird will need to roast at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. An expensive meat thermometer is a huge help when roasting large birds. If your turkey reaches the desired level of ‘brown’ before the baking time is complete, cover the bird with foil while it continues to roast away in your oven. The pan juices will make the most delicious gravy. Remember to allow your turkey to rest 20 minutes before you carve. Try the Ginger Ale Brine, it makes the turkey the highlight of your feast!

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