I've had this turkey sitting in my freezer since last Thanksgiving. Last Thanksgiving, I was pregnant and couldn't stand the thought of turkey stinking up our apartment. So I put it off and put it off, until I was cleaning out my freezer and went, "Hey, there's this turkey in here!"
I immediately ran off to see what Alton Brown of Good Eats had to say about cooking turkey. (You can see the entire episode on Youtube. It's called "Romancing the Bird", lawls.)
Everybody swears by brine. My sister-in-law does, and so does Alton Brown. His brine, however, calls for all kinds of things that I didn't have at the time, like veggie stock. Also he says to soak your turkey in a 5-gallon bucket. I have many serviceable buckets, but none of them are the 5-gallon variety.
So I puzzled and puzzled 'til my puzzler was sore ... and came up with THIS.
"Aha!" I thought to myself. "When you marinate chicken, you do it in a plastic bag. I'll just wrap the turkey in a trash bag! I'm a genius with a capital J!"
I whipped up four cups of brine. I seemed to be running low on all my salts, so I mixed them. What you see here is two tablespoons of chicken bouillon, a bunch of table salt, a bunch of seasoned salt, and about 1/4th of a cup of garlic salt. It's called brine for a reason. Anyway, I popped it in the microwave for 5 minutes to get it boiling, then stuck it in the freezer to cool it off.
And applied liberally to bird. I added another four cups of cold water, just to fill the bag up a little more.
And bagged it up neat as you please. This went into the fridge for two hours. Then I rolled it over and let it marinate for another two hours.
I followed the baking directions, i.e. toasting it at 500 degrees for 30 minutes, then cutting it back to 350 for two hours. And adding the foil hat to the breast, which I sadly forgot to take a picture of. Isn't it gorgeous?
Check it out. The juiciest, most flavorful turkey I've ever had. All that chicken bouillon masked some of the turkey musk, and the white meat was juicy instead of being all dry.
So that's how to brine a turkey when you lack a bucket and all those fancy seasonings. Just plain old salt does the trick every time.