VIDEO: How To Brine a Turkey

While it takes a bit of planning, a brined turkey will not only be more moist, but it will give you a bit more leeway in case you leave the bird in the oven a bit too long.

There might be a lot of reasons to look forward to Thanksgiving, but there is only one true star of the show. If you have great cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie, it doesn’t hold a candle to a truly stand-out turkey.

But what’s the best plan of action for Thanksgiving turkey? We wanted to make sure we had all of our bases covered, so we went to the Institute of Culinary Education to really learn from the pros and get a few ideas.

It needs to start with brining: while it takes a bit of planning, a brined turkey will not only be more moist, but it will give you a bit more leeway in case you leave the bird in the oven a bit too long. If you brine, the odds of succeeding are dramatically increased.

Once you’ve accepted that there’s no option other than brining, you then have to settle on a preparation method that lives up to the Thanksgiving expectations. So I.C.E’s James Briscione showed us the steps for bacon-wrapping or frying the turkey. Both are showstoppers and will have guests asking for seconds. The real question is whether or not you should actually just make two turkeys!

With these two recipes you may not have any leftovers, but just in case you need to have a plan of action for how to make the most of your turkey. Briscione has an answer for us here as well, with three dishes that are easily derived from the previous day’s meal.

Want to be a turkey expert? Watch the embedded videos and don’t forget to brine your turkey!

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Ali Rosen is the Founder and Host of Potluck Video, a site for food, drink and travel videos. Prior to Potluck Video, Ali created The Daily Meal Video Network for TheDailyMeal.com. In this role she hosted, shot and edited over 900 videos including the series 'At the Chef's Table,' featuring in-depth interviews with chefs including Thomas Keller, Alain Ducasse and Rene Redzepi. Prior to The Daily Meal, Ali was an on-air reporter for NY1 and worked in production at NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. She is originally from Charleston, SC but now calls New York home with her husband Daniel and dog Phoebe.