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Angela’s Original Trash Can Turkey Wine & Brine PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Angela Ann   
Tuesday, 18 November 2008 04:44

Start out with a NEW, CLEAN, UNUSED trash can.  This may seem like common sense, but it has to be said.  Someone out there is going to use a dirty can and catch some horrific disease.  You know THAT guy.  You probably work with him.

A ten gallon can will suffice.  I used a 20 gallon can because it looked better for this article. 


Brining works best on small to medium turkeys.  It’s not really effective on big birds.  My turkey was about 12.5 pounds.

Here’s the recipe for Angela’s Trash Can Turkey Wine & Brine:


-3/4 gallon water
-2 cups white wine
-1 cup apple cider
-1 cup orange juice
-1 cup salt
-1 cup light brown sugar
-1/4 cup chopped ginger or 2 tsp. dried ground ginger
-1 tbsp. black peppercorns
-4 bay leaves
-4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried thyme

-1 (12 pound) turkey
-unsalted butter or olive oil
-pepper (your favorite, I used lemon pepper)

Combine all brining ingredients.  If you brine in a trash can, or other large container, you may have to double or triple the brine recipe to make sure your turkey is fully submerged or almost fully submerged.  Make sure the salt and sugar are fully dissolved before putting the turkey in the mixture.  It doesn’t look too appetizing at this point, but trust me it gets much better.

The turkey needs brine for at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours.  If your container is small enough, you should store it in the refrigerator.  If you live in a cold climate, you can leave your container outside or in the garage.  If you leave your turkey outside, make sure it stays “refrigerator” cold and don’t let the critters get to it.  I live in California so it wasn’t cold enough to store my trash can turkey outside.  So I packed my bathtub with ice and put the trash can in the tub to keep the turkey cold.

After 12 to 24 hours, rinse turkey and prepare any way you desire.  Discard brine mixture.

IMPORTANT:  Regardless of how you cook your turkey, there’s no need to add salt.  It’s salty enough after the brine.  You can add other seasonings like pepper.
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I decided to oven roast my turkey.  In the roasting pan, I poured white wine over, and a little inside the turkey.  This adds flavor and surely kills a few germs.  I used Double Dog Dare Chardonnay (California’s Central Valley) $3.   This is the important part:  pour a glass for yourself.  

Then, I rubbed my turkey down with UNSALTED butter and generously sprinkled lemon pepper on the bird.  I made a few slits in strategic locations on the skin of the bird and shoved more unsalted butter under the skin.

I like to roast my bird breast-side down for the first 1.5 to 2 hours.  This ensures the juices run down into the breast meat.  Roast breast- side up for the last hour to ensure a golden brown turkey.  

I oven roasted my 12.5 pound bird for a little over three hours at 325 degrees F.  A meat thermometer should read 160 to 165 degrees F, before you remove the turkey from the oven.

Your drippings for gravy is a salty, buttery, white wine mixture.  Remember, don’t add salt to your gravy and use only no sodium or low sodium ingredients.

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