Apple juice isn't just for kids. Apple juice adds delicious flavor to a turkey, especially when paired with other flavors, such as sage or maple. An alternative to cooking with apple juice or apple cider is to use the liquid in a turkey brine the day before. Brines keep a turkey moist during the cooking process. Apple complements a number of different spices and herbs too, so you can experiment with whatever is in the spice cabinet instead of needing to shop for all new ingredients.
Cook With Apple Juice
Heat apple juice or apple cider with equal parts butter in a saucepan on the stove. This forms the basting solution for the turkey.
Rub salt into the skin of the turkey. The salt keeps the turkey meat tender and juicy while cooking.
Brush the turkey with a coat of the apple juice and butter mixture. Continue to prepare the rest of the turkey according to the recipe. If you want a stronger apple flavor, add chopped apples to the cavity of the turkey.
Baste the turkey as it cooks with the apple juice mixture. Add a final coat after the turkey comes out of the oven and serve.
Brine With Apple Juice
Mix together the spices and/or herbs of your choice with 4 parts water, 1 part salt, and 1 part sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it has reached boiling, remove the pan from the heat.
Add 8 parts apple juice, or apple cider if you prefer, and stir to mix all the ingredients together.
Chill the brine while you prepare the turkey. If you’ve already removed giblets and other innards of the turkey, chill the brine for one hour before continuing.
Place the turkey in a bucket and pour the brine mixture over the top. Keep the turkey and brine in the refrigerator overnight or for 10 to 14 hours.
- University of Illinois Extension: Turkey for the Holidays
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- Bon Appetit: Cider Brined Turkey
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