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Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

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I much prefer wild birds (which, contrary to much opinion, are not as dry, at least before cooking, as domestic birds) or birds that have been raised on the ground (with plenty of room to scratch) instead of in a compartment. A happy bird makes better eating.
More and more these days people are raising their own turkeys, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a local grower who will sell you a live bird or two. After you chop off its head, draw and pluck it as soon as possible. Wash the bird quickly with salted water, then weigh it and record the figure. Place the bird in a crock or other suitable container and cover it with brine. (the brine formula used for pheasant will do.) Weight the bird with a block of wood or other suitable nonmetallic object so that it stays completely submerged. If the bird weighs less than 10 pounds dressed, leave it in the brine for 1 day per pound; if it weighs between 10 and 15 pounds, 1¼ days per pound; over 15 pounds, 1½ days per pound. It is important also that the bird be cured in a cool place, preferably at 38°F. Every 7 days or so, remove the bird (or birds) and stir the brine about, and put the bird back into the brine.