Moroccan Style Beer Brined Turkey
The unique characteristics of an Imperial Red Ale, with its rich malty caramel and toffee undertones, mixed perfectly with a good herbal citrus hoppiness, mixes beautifully with the slight tang of pomegranate and a citrus twist of tangerine transform this beer brined turkey into a Moroccan delicacy. This Thanksgiving, bring the casbah to your dining room.
Serves: 10-16 people, with turkey for leftovers.
Before You Shop:
Listen to my Home Brewed Chef podcast Thanksgiving Dinner Show for more Thanksgiving menu ideas, techniques and recipes.
1 each Thermapen Cooking Thermometer
and | or
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1 each All-Clad Stainless Steel Large Roti Combo with Rack and Turkey Lifters
Check out my Thanksgiving Feast for more ideas, recipes and suggestions.
Have turkey bones? Make the best Turkey Stock with this recipe.
Adapted from BeerAdvocate Magazine: Cuisine à la Bière | Nov 2010 | Issue #46
|16 guest||20 minute|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|3-4 hour||2-3 days|
A Moroccan inspired beer brine for poultry, infuses with Imperial Red Ale, pomegranate molasses and tangerines.
- 1 gallon water
- 1 1/2 cup salt, kosher
- 3 each onions, yellow, large, peeled and chopped
- 3 each celery, stalks, washed and sliced
- 3 each carrots, large peeled and sliced
- 3 each tangerines or oranges quartered
- 6 each garlic, cloves peeled and sliced
- 6 each bay leaves preferably fresh
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, Ceylon, ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
- 3/4 cup honey local variety, or orange blossom
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, such as Pomegranate Molasses
- 66 ounce Imperial Red Ale, such as Alaskan Brewing Co. Imperial Red Ale or Imperial Red Ale, ice cold
- 1 each turkey, 16-24 pounds, preferably free range, organic or heritage
- 1 each tangerine or orange,
- 2 each cinnamon sticks
- 4 each carrots, large peeled
- 4 each celery, stalks, washed and trimmed
- 1 each pomegranate, seeded for garnish
- In a large stock pot, combine the cold water, salt, onions, celery, carrots, tangerines, garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon and coriander. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir well until the salt has dissolved into the brine. Let the brine cook for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to fuse together. Turn off the heat, and add the honey and pomegranate molasses, stirring to blend thoroughly. Let the liquid cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the Imperial Red Ale. Make sure the temperature is 40°F | 4°C or below before using.
- Remove the neck/innards of the turkey (reserving for stock or gravy) and wash well under cold water, rinsing the cavity and neck area, removing any quills or tags from the bird. Dry well with paper towels.
- For brining, have ready a Cambro 22 qt Polypropylene Food Storage Container, large stock/brew pot, a brining bag or Ziploc XL HD Big Bag. Place the turkey into the container of choice, then top off with the chilled brine, submerging the turkey completely. Then place in the cold storage, for example a refrigerator or kegerator.
- If cold space is an issue, use a large cooler and sanitize it with a bleach water solution (1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water or 200ppm) or Star San (1 ounce of StarSan per 2 gallons of water). Place the cooled beer brine into the now clean cooler and add the turkey. Use several gallon size seal-able bags fill with ice, to keep the bird and brine ice cold, but not diluting the salinity or flavor of the brine. This will also work if you are beer brining multiple turkeys at once and have doubled or tripled the beer brine recipe to fill the cooler size you are using.
- Beer brine the turkey for at least 36 (for a smaller bird 16 pound) to 48 hours (for a larger 22+ pound bird). Keep the turkey and brine cold during this marinating process. Every 12 hours, rotate/flip the turkey in the brine to evenly marinate it. To speed up the process the beer brining process, an Stainless Steel Commercial grade meat marinade flavor injector can be used to marinate the turkey faster.
- Remove the turkey from the brine, and dry inside and out well with paper towels. This will help the browning of the skin, as moisture will steam instead of roast the turkey. Place the tangerine and cinnamon sticks inside the cavity of the bird, then truss the bird with twine to help hold its shape and to aid in cooking the turkey evenly. Lay the carrots and celery on the bottom of a roasting pan to replace a rack. Place the bird, breast-side up, in a roasting pan, centered on the carrots and celery. Let the bird sit at room temperature for 1 - 2 hours, letting its internal temperature rise. This will help the bird cook more evenly and require less oven time.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F | 177°C. Place a temperature probe into the top center of the breast to make sure the turkey is cooked to a certain temperature (160°F | 71°C) versus a length of time. If you don’t have a probe, an 18- to 22-pound turkey should take between three hours and 45 minutes and 4.5 hours to fully cook at 160°F | 71°C temperature. Check both the breast and the thigh temperature with an instant-read thermometer to make sure the turkey is evenly cooked.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and cover with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 20 - 30 minutes before carving. This will help the turkey remain moist as the meat is allowed to relax after cooking, and to redistribute its juices. Slice the turkey and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.
- Prepare a smoker or indirect heated barbecue with a small fire; keep the temperature at 250°F | 121°C. Follow the above directions on preparing the turkey, then place into the smoker and cook until the internal temperature is 160°F | 71°C. For wood chips, try apple, pecan or cherry-wood chips soaked for 30 minutes in Imperial Red, adding a few cinnamon sticks. Add these beer soaked chips every 30 minutes to the fire while the turkey cooks. Also check the coals, making sure the smoking temperature stays pretty consistent.
Other Beer Brined Turkey Recipes and Cooking Techniques:
- BBQed Beer Brined Turkey
- Deep Fried Beer Brined Turkey
- Grilled Beer Brined Turkey
- Oven Roasted Beer Brined Turkey
- Smoked Beer Brined Turkey
- Sous Vide Beer Brined Turkey
Alternative Beer Brine Turkey Recipes:
- Allagash - Tripel and Tangerine Beer Brined Turkey
- Asian Style Beer Brined Turkey
- Dawn of the Red Polynesian Inspired Beer Brined Turkey
- Dogfish Head - Indian Brown Ale Beer Brined Turkey
- Firestone Walker - Double Barrel Ale (DBA) Beer Brined Turkey
- Lagunitas - Little Sumpin Sumpin Beer Brined Turkey Recipe
- Oaxacan-Style Beer Brine Turkey
- Rogue Ales - John John Juniper Pale Ale Beer Brine Turkey
- Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale Beer Brined Turkey
- South of the Boarder Style Beer Brined Turkey
- Tipsy Turkey – Craftbeer.com