Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 11: Let's talk turkey

this is not my turkey, mine will be better, I am sure!
I am getting straight to business, how are you going to cook that Turkey! ( ok so this not my turkey in the picture, as a matter of a fact, my turkey probably doesn't look this good, but I can guarantee my turkey will taste better than this one!)

So in my journey of perfecting Thanksgiving dinner, I had to overcome a problem. I have two ovens (if you only have one you are really in trouble!) and I need to roast a turkey, bake the stuffing, bake the sweet potatoes and bake the rolls! Also, sorry mom, I am a white meat girl and I was sick of dry white meat. So through my journey of self discovery I have come up with a masterful, slow roasted thanksgiving turkey.

So first we must do KITCHEN TOOL OF THE WEEK

The roaster. Aside from thanksgiving, I use this all the time and they are not that expensive. Pick it up on one of you thousand trips to wallmart.
To warn you, this is going to be a looooonnnngg post. Its serious business, this turkey stuff.
Get a fresh turkey, don't mess around with the frozen ones. Go to costco, get a fresh turkey.
Before you roast it you will need to brine the Turkey. Get your cooler out. Here is the brine recipe:
For ever gallon of water you need a cup of salt
Every gallon of water you need a 1/2 c of sugar
Now this stuff needs to be dissolved, make half the water hot enough to dissolve the sugar and salt, then add ice cold water to it. The water must be cold, you are creating disease if your water is warm.
Next add liberal amounts of fresh spices ( sage, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns whatever you like), garlic and onions. Put the turkey in the brine for at least 12 hours. Put the cooler outside if its cold, or add ice if needed.
Take the turkey out of the brine and thoroughly rinse it off. Pat dry. Now we can't use the roaster yet because we need to brown the skin and the roaster will not do this properly. First we have to stuff it and tie it up. Ok, you are going to put stuffing in a cheese cloth and put it in the turkey, more will be explained on stuffing day. You have to tie up the turkey so all the limbs are in tight. Put your turkey on a cookie sheet, and give it a nice rub down with oil; salt and pepper (go light on the salt because the brine will already make it salty) Put the turkey in the oven at 500 degrees for about 30 minutes (watch it, I kind of burned the skin one year) till the skin is browned pretty.
Now transfer the turkey and all the drippings and brown pieces (that will be your gravy) into the roasting pan. Sprinkle the turkey with sage, garlic powder and dried onions. Add about 2 cups hot water, 2-3 T chicken base and 6-7 bays leaves, and anything else you like (carrots, onions, celery, more garlic, lemons let you creativity flow) Roast at 225 degrees for 10 hours or at 190 for 12 hours. Make sure the turkey reads 165 and the thickest part of the thigh with an instant read thermometer. Not done yet? just turn it up. Don't want to get up in the middle of the night to start the turkey( depending on when you eat) forgo the slow cooking and cook at a higher temprature in the roaster. My fingers are sore . . . . . tomorrow stuffing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ever tried putting that turkey in the roaster breast side about nice moist white meat! YUMMY!