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John Boehner, king of the turkey brine?

By Deirdre Walsh, CNN Senior Congressional Producer
updated 8:48 PM EST, Wed November 27, 2013
Processed turkeys that were raised on the farm are seen at Springfield Farm in Sparks, Maryland.
Processed turkeys that were raised on the farm are seen at Springfield Farm in Sparks, Maryland.
  • House Speaker John Boehner is famous for the way he prepares a Thanksgiving turkey
  • He learned the technique from his mother
  • Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, however, says, "I'm cooking nothing"

Washington (CNN) -- Move over Martha Stewart -- House Speaker John Boehner boasts his recipe for brining turkey is the key to a delicious Thanksgiving feast.

The Speaker is spending the holiday with his wife, Debbie, their two daughters and their husbands at his home in West Chester, Ohio.

As is the family tradition, Boehner will prepare dinner, and the centerpiece is a turkey that soaks up juices in a special brine - a Boehner specialty he learned from his mother.

Watch Boehner's Thanksgiving message

In an essay published in this week's Time Magazine about Thanksgiving, the Speaker says he's looking forward to cooking, writing: "It will be wonderful to spend a few days with our two daughters and make what I consider to be the best turkey brine around."

The dinner takes advance preparation and Boehner begins the process the day before.

He mixes garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves and maple syrup (what he calls the secret ingredient) and then adds that to water to make the brine. He then submerges the bird in the brine overnight.

Boehner's Washington staff can attest to the Speaker's skills at preparing the holiday feast.

For years, he invited his aides to his Capitol Hill apartment and used the same brine recipe to serve up an early Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, a Boehner aide says the schedule was too busy, so he didn't have time to cook for them.

By the numbers: Thanksgiving

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is also spending Thanksgiving with his family.

But when it comes to the dinner Reid is less hands on than Boehner, telling reporters: "I'm cooking nothing."

In addition to the turkey, Boehner also makes his own stuffing and creamed spinach that includes bacon.

His office has posted the recipes on the Speaker's political website.

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