Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Turkey

On "Early Thanksgiving Eve" I was checking out PW's "My Schedule for Thanksgiving". I loved that PW (Pioneer Woman) had a plan and it settled my nerves quite a bit to know I now had a plan as well. I thought I would have all day Saturday to prepare a dinner for Sunday, but we moved the dinner up a day so that the Mommy Daughters could be at the festivities.
I would use PW's method for cooking the Turkey since we both had 20 pounders. I had bought a fresh turkey so I had no thawing hurdles to climb and am very glad I did.
I set the alarm for 4:30 since the sink was full of dishes and I wouldn't be able to clean the turkey until I got the dishes done.
As I said in an earlier post Husband woke early (before the alarm went off) and when I heard him bumping around I told him I needed to get the turkey ready and in the oven. He said it was too early, but that he would work on it while I got more sleep. I was SO tired and was happy to have his help. When I woke up the kitchen was clean and the turkey was ready. Dennis had loaded the turkey with a pound of butter, a cube or two under the skin next to the meat, two in each end of the cavity and slathered the outer skin. He placed it breasts down and put it in an oven bag.
Husband Hint: He grabbed a few nylon zip ties from the garage and used them to reseal the bag when he basted it. These were a very good idea. It worked out really good!
Next morning I took the Turkey out of the fridge, preheated the oven to 275 degrees and when the oven reached temp, put the turkey back in the fridge. Took the Rhodes frozen dinner rolls out of the freezer and put them in a muffin pan. 2 rolls in each cup and let them start thawing/rising. Then, Dennis and I went to Lehi to get some fresh thyme I needed for the Zesty Lemon Four Bean dish and to Cool Beans to get a cup of coffee.
I "changed my mind" about using PW's cooking method when I went to baste the turkey at 10:00 am and it wasn't in the oven. Sometimes I put the Ice Cream in the fridge instead of the Freezer and sometimes I put the turkey back in the fridge instead of the oven... good thing there was still PLENTY of time to do it another way... at that point I told Dennis that he was responsible for the Turkey.
He cooked it at 325 degrees until it reached 170 degrees. It was 175 when he carved it. It was very juicy and yummy and um... buttery!

The Other Turkey
At my parents house they had decided to use Alton Brown's method. I love that guy. The guy should cook in a lab coat. He speaks to me on a level that only a nerdy scientist type could. ;)
Here is the recipe:
1 (14-16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water
For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves of sage
Canola oil
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.
A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500°F. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil. Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500°F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350°F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161°F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.
They cooked the Turkey at the lower temperature on their Trager Grill in the roasting pan covered with the aluminum foil. It was so so good and pretty!

If you follow nothing else from this recipe cooking at 500 degrees for 30 minutes (prior to putting it in an oven bag if you use one) is a definite must. Dennis says that is the only thing he would have changed about our turkey. This would have given us more crispy skin that the daughters love so much.


Trish said...

I'm laughing hysterically while reading about your fridge baked turkey.
WITH you tho. Not AT you.
I do stuff I can't explain all the time.
I'm gonna try the AB method with one of our other turkeys. I bought 5 this year. lol

Amy said...

That turkey looks so good. It looks like it came out of a magazine. I was thinking I wish I could eat that turkey...Wait....I did and it was so delicious and most. We all had a great time in the kitchen together this wonderful holiday.

The big plunge...

Starting Weight 193.8
Week 1 194.2 - +.4
W- 2 190.2 - -4.0
W- 3 186.4 - -3.8
W- 4 186.2 - -0.2
W- 5 184.0 - -2.2
W- 6 184.5 - +0.5
W- 7 185.0 - -0.5
W- 8 183.2 - -1.8
W- 9 180.0 - -3.2
W- 10 183.2 - +3.2
W- 11 179.0 - -4.2
W- 12 177.1 - -1.9
W- 13 175.1 - -2.0
W- 14 171.6 - -3.5
W- 15 169.9 - -1.7
W- 16 168.4 - -1.5
W- 17 165.4 - -3.0
W- 18 161.9 - -3.5
W- 19 165.4 - +3.0
W- 20 163.0 - -2.4
W- 21 165.8 - +2.8
W- 22 162.0 - -3.8
W- 23 159.8 - +0.4
W- 24 158.0 - -2.7
W-k 25 156.4 - -1.6
W- 26 154.3 - -2.1
W- 27 153.9 - -0.4
W- 28 152.0 - -1.9
August 30, 2009
W- 29 149.9 - -2.1
W- 30 147.7 - -2.2
W- 31 147.1 - -0.6
W- 32 149.5 - +2.4
W- 33 151.3 - +1.8
W- 34 150.2 - -1.1
W- 35 150.8 - +0.6
W- 36 150.3 - -0.5
W- 37 149.1 - -1.2
W- 38 149.8 - +0.7
W- 39 150.1 +0.3
W- 40 156.3 +6.2
W- 41 153.3 -3.0
W- 42 152.6 -0.7
W- 43 152.6 -0.0
W- 44 150.7 -1.9
W- 45 152.4 +1.7
W- 46 153.0 +0.6
W- 47 152.3 +0.7
W- 48 150.1 -2.2

W- 49 147.5 -2.6
W- 50 146.3 -1.2
W- 53 151.0 +2.0
W- 54 149.3 -1.7
W- 55 144.9 -4.4
W- 56 144.1 -0.8
W- 57 140.0 lbs. Goal!!!!