I love Thanksgiving turkey, especially when using the brining process. So flavorful, juicy and easy! I have used wet and dry brining and enjoy the benefits of both. Chef Molly’s recipe with floral notes and crisp citrus flavors are simply amazing. I am so excited to share Richard’s holiday wine recommendations that pair perfectly with traditional holiday menus. Enjoy!!
Orange Blossom Brine by Ellerbe Fine Foods
This brine complements the flavors of the turkey without overpowering it, giving the bird a beautiful citrus note with a subtle floral nose.
¾ cup kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar
2 carrots, cut into ¼ inch rounds
1 yellow onion, peeled and medium diced
1 fennel bulb, sliced ½ inch thick
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
¼ cup pickling spices
3 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 lemon, cut into rings
1 teaspoon orange extract
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 quarts water plus 3 quarts ice water
Place all of the ingredients except the 3 quarts ice water in a large pot and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour the hot brine mixture into a large plastic container. Stir in the 3 quarts of ice water and cool completely. Place your turkey in the brine and refrigerate for 36-48 hours. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry before roasting.
Holiday Wine Recommendations from Ellerbe’s Richard King
$19 LangeTwins Chenin Blanc “Prince Vineyard” Lodi, California 2018 | 92 points tasting panel
By simply preserving the aromas and flavors that were delivered from the grape, our Chenin Blanc is a vibrant expression of the varietal. Crisp Granny Smith apple notes merge with a hint of tart pear to create a bright and refreshing wine that is easy to enjoy on its own.
$23 Terra d’Oro Zinfandel “Deaver Vineyard” Amador County, California 2016 | 92 Points Wine Enthusianst
Spicy and full bodied, this wine comes from a planted in 1881. It is full of ripe fruit flavors, with dates of black pepper and wood smoke that gives it extra dimension. Firm tannins and good acidity keep it well balanced, with blackberry and violet flavors.
$25 Château de Bellevue Gamay “Climat Les Charmes” Cru Beaujolais, Morgan France 2015 | 90 Points Tasting Panel
An appealing density and energy here, with firmly-structured yet refined black cherry fruit accompanying mineral, herbal and graphite elements – long, fresh and precise, with the potential to age.