Credit for this recipe goes to Michael Ruhlman and and Brian Polcyn and their book listed above. Great resource, you should all buy it
Herb Brined Turkey or Chicken:
1 Gallon (4 liters) Water
1 Cup (225 Grams) Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup (125 grams) Sugar
(this is all you need but I add the following on their advice in the book):
1 bunch of fresh Tarragon
1 bunch of Fresh Parsley
2 bay leaves
1 head of Garlic- Halved Horizontally
1 Onion- sliced
3tbsp/30 grams black pepper- lightly crushed
2 lemons- Halved (give a good squeeze as you toss then in)
Should be noted that any aromatic can be thrown in - Celery, Carrot, garlic, any herbs (stems are fine) are all good and the more the merrier.
combine all brine ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve all salts and sugars. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp. then put in fridge until chilled.
Add bird to the brine and weight it down with a plate or something that will keep the whole thing completely submerged for the appropriate brine time (see below).
Remove from brine, pat dry and let rest uncovered in the fridge for 2-24 hours. This is important as it forms the "pellicle" (tacky surface) that binds to the smoke flavor)
Boneless Chicken Breast (8oz/225 grams): 2 hrs
2lb chicken (1 Kilo) 4-6 hours
3-4lb chicken (1.5-2 kilos) 8-12 hours
Boneless Turkey Breast (4 inches/10cm thick) 12-18 hours
10-15lb Turkey (4-7 Kilo) 24 hours
Turkey over 15lb/7 kilos: 24-36 hours
Everyone enjoy and buy the book- it's worth every penny and will make you a better cook (inside and out). Promise