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Recipe of the Week

Detail of Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

A great dish for dessert or breakfast, these filled crepes are quick and easy to make, full of wonderful flavor, and make any occasion special.

Orange and Herb Poultry Brine

I have been brining my turkeys and chickens for years - way before it was "cool" and "trendy" to do so. Once you have brined your first turkey or chicken, you will see why. The meat does have a bit different taste and texture than unbrined meat, but it is remarkably flavorful and moist. Brining creates a large cooking buffer that allows lots of room for error and overcooking. What I particularly like about it is that it allows you to cook a turkey very thoroughly so that the dark meat is out of the danger area and to even get the skin a lovely golden brown color, without drying out the breast meat. There is even room to allow the turkey to remain in the oven to accomodate late guests, kitchen catastrophes, or mistakes made by inexperienced cooks. This particular brine is very flavorful and has an almost heady aroma that transfers to the turkey.

8 cups water
2 cups orange juice
4 cups Kosher salt
5 cups sugar
3 coarsely chopped carrots
2 coarsely chopped onions
1 head peeled garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 fresh sage sprigs
1 bunch fresh parsley
3 coarsely chopped oranges

Combine half of the water, orange juice, salt, sugar, carrots, onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, sage, parsley, and oranges in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat, add the remaining water, and cool to room temperature. Wash the turkey inside and out and remove the giblets and neck and reserve for gravy or stuffing if desired. Place the turkey in a pot large enough to hold the turkey and the brine or else in a large food-safe plastic bag resting in a pot or roasting pan to collect any possible leaks and to make moving the turkey easier. Cover with the brine, making sure both cavities of the turkey are filled as well, adding additional water if needed. Cover or tightly close the bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If you are using a bag, rotate the turkey a few times to make sure all of the turkey gets brined. Before roasting, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and proceed with your favorite roasting method.

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