I appear to have inadvertently cured a turkey.
Went to the store the other day to grab a pack of Italian sausage for dinner. I noticed they were having a post Holiday blowout sale on turkeys, so for less than the price of the sausage, I got a 14lb turkey, Brought it home and made Italian sausage with half of it, which turned out great. With the other half, I fileted the breast and removed the hind quarter. I put the boneless breast, the wings and the hind quarter in a quickly thrown together brine consisting of water and seasoned salt. The salt is VERY fine, like pickling salt. I guesstimated the ratio at 1/2 cup salt to 1/2 gallon of water. The turkey was in for right about 24 hours.
Last night I removed it from the fridge and rinsed it. I noticed right away that the breast meat was firmer than usual. I rinsed it a couple times then soaked it for a half hour in clean water. Put it in a 350˚ oven, then pulled the breast at 160˚ and the leg quarter at 170˚. The meat was distinctively hammy. WAAAY too salty in the thinner parts of the meat, very moist, and a very firm almost rubbery texture.
What the heck happened? I've never cured anything, but have brined quite a few birds in the past. I've never had this happen before. The bird was fresh with no off flavors or odors, and the brine was assembled in the same way I've done it many times before. Other than the saltiness, the texture and flavor was really good. I checked the ingredients on the salt package to see if maybe they included nitrites/nitrates but it was just salt, paprika, onion and garlic. I'm guessing the superfine salt is the culprit here, as I can't remember if I've used this particular kind in the past. It just seems odd that it would look and taste like ham after such a short soak in nothing more than salty water.