The delicate flavors from Allagash Brewing Co. version of a Belgian style Tripel shines when combined with seasonal tangerine and anise flavored fennel. These key flavors combine are to create a Belgian style beer brine for poultry. The results become a Allagash Tripel and Tangerine Beer Brined Turkey.
One of the reasons this Beer Brined Turkey recipe is so delicious, is the beer being used. The Belgian styled Tripel is one of my favorite beer styles. Brewed with very few malts, the clean malt flavor shines, with a light hint of honey, crisp and elegant. Nugget|Hallertau hops add just enough bitter balance to this 9% ABV beer, giving the aroma a touch of herbal undertones. The big hit of flavor comes from the Belgian yeast strain, that when fermented, bring out the esters and phenols to accentuate the malt and hop ratio brilliantly. These flavors help mask the brews alcohol content.
These flavors infuse together, and into the turkey | chicken | Cornish game hens to create a juicy, moist and succulent bird that will make everyone want seconds and leftovers (if any are left).
Makes: enough brine for a 16-24 pound turkey, 4 whole chickens or 10 Cornish game hens
16 - 24poundturkeypreferably free range, organic or heritage
Beer Brine Directions:
At least two days in advance of Thanksgiving | event | holiday, start the brine. In a large pot, over high heat, add the water, tangerines, salt, sugar, honey, bay leaves, thyme and fennel. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes to combine the flavors. Turn off the heat, let the brine cool for 20 minutes, then add in the ice and Allagash Tripel. Mix the ingredients together and take the temperature of the finished brine. A thermometer should read 40°F | 4°C or lower in order to be safe to use. If it is warmer, place the pot into a refrigerator/kegerator until 40°F | 4°C is reached.
Take the fresh turkey and remove it from its package in a large sink. Remove the neck, gizzards and liver, setting aside (for stock or gravy). Rinse the bird under cold water, turning the bird over a few times, washing any blood from the cavity and under the neck flap. Remove any remaining quills from the skin, if visible. Remove any excess fat from around the inside cavity. Turn off the water and lightly dry the turkey off with paper towels.
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.
If you are using a Ziploc XL HD Big Bag for the liquid and bird, place the sealed bagged turkey in the cooler and surround the bag with ice, to keep the turkey and brine ice cold.
Beer brine the turkey for at least 24 (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.
Preparing the Finished Beer Brined Turkey for Cooking:
Remove the turkey from the brine and dry well with paper towels, both inside and out. Repeat this several times, to get as much of the moisture removed. This will help the browning of the skin, as moisture will steam the skin instead of roast it. Place the turkey, back side down, in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Place the bunch of sage inside the cavity, as the herbs will release their aroma into the meat as it roasts. Let the turkey sit at room temperature for 2 hours prior to being cooked. This will let the turkey warm up, allowing it to cook more evenly. Discard the brine, as it has done its purpose and not safe to re-use.
Oven Roasting Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F | 177°C, convection roast/bake if this setting is an option. Truss the bird with twine, to help hold its shape and to aid in cooking the turkey evenly. I highly recommend using a temperature probe to make sure the turkey is cooked to a certain temperature (160°F | 71°C) verses a length of time. Insert the probe into the middle of a breast or in one of the thighs. Make sure the tip of the probe isn’t touching a bone, as the temperature reading will be false. If you don’t have a probe thermometer, a 16-20 pound turkey should take between 3 and 3 1/2 hours to fully cook to 160°F | 71°C. Check both the breast and the thigh temperature to make sure the turkey is evenly cooked. Other recipes describe cooking a turkey until the internal temperature reaches 180°F | 82°C and this is one reason for a dry turkey. Turkey is safe to eat after it reaches 165°F | 75°C. It's fine to remove the turkey from the oven at 160°F | 71°C, as the heat of the oven and the surface temperature is higher than the internal temperature. As the turkey rests, the carryover heat will finish cooking the turkey and bring it to a safe final cooking temperature of 165°F | 75°C.
Let the turkey rest at room temperature for 20 - 30 minutes before carving. This is critical in keeping a moist and juicy turkey. This resting will relax the muscle fibers, helping re-distribute the juices and allow the bird to be easier to handle when carving. Cover the turkey with a large sheet of aluminum foil.
More 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
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Allagash Tripel and Tangerine Beer Brined Turkey
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