Tuesday, November 25, 2014

T-Day Extravaganza!

Good evening everyone! This week, obviously, features the Thanksgiving holiday. Which, for a cooking blog is a bit like culinary Christmas. (Which makes Christmas like culinary new year? I'm not sure how that works...) Over the past four years, we've featured recipes around the holiday feast - from side dishes to ideas for leftovers - we've done it all but the turkey.

Until today.

That's right. We're doing a turkey this year! After years of putting off committing to the main event (it wasn't really practical for a family of two) we're finally taking on the feature dish on many menus. The results, if I do say so myself, were nothing short of outstanding. Simply put, unless you're 100% in love with your current turkey cooking method - you'll want to give this recipe a try.

The Recipe: Good Eats Roast Turkey
Original Recipe From: 'Good Eats' - Via Alton Brown

What You'll Need:

1 Turkey (...I hope that's implied) weight varies by amount you need to feed

For the Brine:
1 Gallon Vegetable Broth
1 Gallon Water (Heavily iced)
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons All Spice Berries
1 Teaspoon Whole Black Pepper Corns

For the Turkey:
1 Apple (Sliced roughly)
1 Onion (Sliced roughly)
2-3 Fresh Sprigs Rosemary
1-2 Fresh Sprigs Sage
Canola Oil

2-3 Days before T-day, you'll want to fully thaw your bird. Stir it in the refrigerator once thawed.

8 to 16 hours before the main event - begin preparing your brine.

In a large (clean and food safe) 5 gallon bucket, combine the broth, water, brown sugar, salt, all spice berries and pepper corns. Submerge the turkey (breast side down) in the brine and store it and cool place. Monitor the turkey from time to make sure the ice is still intact (replace if necessary).

3 hours before dinner time, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it well.  Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Pat the turkey (inside and out) dry with a paper towel. Meanwhile, add the apple and onion slices to a microwave safe dish with a cup of water and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Once that's complete, transfer the steeped veggies into the turkey's...cavity...along with the sage and rosemary. Cover the outside of the turkey with a liberal helping of canola oil. Transfer the bird to your favorite roasting rack and set aside.

Do you have an instant read thermometer? (You really should) Good! Now's the time to place the probe into the deepest part of the breast. Set the temperature alarm for 161 degrees and pop the bird into the oven for 30 minutes. (30 minutes at 500 degrees will create that great golden color that looks so good on the serving tray)

After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and let the bird roast until the probe starts beeping (I.E. until it reaches 161 degrees internally). Now, it's VERY IMPORTANT (you can tell, because I wrote it in all caps) that you allow the turkey to rest (covered by aluminum foil) for 15 minutes before carving. Get impatient and cut it up before then and you'll have wasted all of that effort you put into brining - your patience will be rewarded.

Finally, after the 15 minutes are up, simply carve up and enjoy.

The Results:

Best. Turkey. Ever.

Let me reiterate... BEST TURKEY EVER! This is one juicy and flavorful bird that I would be willing to put up against every other turkey I've ever eaten (or you've ever eaten) EVER. Yes, ever.

We paired out thanksgiving feast with some favorite side dishes:

Escalloped Corn
Green Bean Casserole 
Mashed Sweet Potatoes 
Pumpkin Pie 

With the holiday, we're not going to be posting any more this week. We hope you all have a happy and healthy turkey day with your friends and family. Until next week,


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