Help me, not the turkey LOL! Ok, so I’m on call 24/7 right now anticipating two new babies (I LOVE photographing births and seriously can’t wait to get the calls!)….but, this also means that we won’t be traveling for Thanksgiving this year. So, I have to cook a turkey. I think I’ve cooked one once. Ok, twice if you count the year after Katrina and we ate microwave turkey frozen dinners in the FEMA trailer. That probably doesn’t count though huh?
So….how do you cook your turkey??? I’m a pretty decent cook, I can hold my own, but we usually have Thanksgiving with family, so bird duty rarely falls on me. I bought a 16 lb. bird and it’s defrosting in our fridge. Now what?! If it was just us, I’d probably wing it….but….we’re having friends over for the holiday too so I’d like it to at least be edible! Tips, advice? What do you do to your turkey to make it yummmm???
Oh and that cute little guy up there, he was handcrafted by Little T and her Daddy. These will be at each place setting at the table. They’ve been working on them for weeks, so cute! They did it all themselves, just the two of them. Love that.
I’m sure y’all have a crawfish boiler set-up, right? You could deep fry the turkey (meaning, the hubs can do it). Email me and I’d be more than happy to get you the details.
Holly (http://bloggingwithholly.blogspot.com/) posted a recipe on her blog a few days ago that sounded really yummy!! Good luck!
Deep frying is always good, my dad does it this way. David likes to use a recipe from Alton Brown and it’s always turned out yummy. You should be able to find the recipe on foodnetwork.com…called Good Eats Roast Turkey. GL!!!
I can roast a mean turkey, but I am a perfectionist and my method is labor intensive. After defrosting the turkey, I soak it in brine in the fridge for at least 12 hours. I stuff garlic cloves, lemon slices, and fresh herbs under the skin. Stuff the cavity with sliced apples, onion, more garlic, lemon, and herbs. Sometimes I will layer the bottom of the roasting pan with onions, carrots, and celery and sometimes I do not. I don’t recall the times/temps that I roast, but I can look at my notes if you are interested in the full recipe.
I also love it when my family deep fries the turkey. That I will not attempt on my own.
And if I’m feeling extremely adventurous, I will make a Turduckhen. That’s definitely not something to attempt in your situation though. It cooks in the oven for about 10 to 12 hours. YUM!
This year my friend finally disclosed her secret to the best turkey you will ever have. The secret is to BRINE the turkey for at least 6 hours if not 12 hours.
It is very important that when brining a turkey that you let the brine reach room temperature before pouring it on the turkey.
It is a pretty easy process that will leave your mouth watering and your house smelling divine for hours.
1. defrost turkey
2. mix brine mixer on the stove (see link above for samples)
3. add spices (rosemary, orange slices etc) between turkey skin and meat.
4. place plastic over bag inside a big pot, like you would a trash bag in a garage can,
5. put turkey in plastic oven bag pour cool brine into bag then close the bag tight with twist ties
6. Make sure the turkey is totally covered in brine you may have to shape the bag in the pot so that it covers the entire turkey.
7. place in frig for 6 hours, then cook.
8. Sit back and smile that you have one of the best turkeys on the planet.
My mom bought a roaster oven from Walmart on Black Friday about five years ago for like $20. It makes a yummy moist turkey! She puts it in there super early in the morning with a touch of water, stick of butter and Shoup’s seasonings. It is easy too – just spoon the liquid over the turkey about once an hour or so!
I cook my turkey in a bag (meant for cooking turkey’s in- I can’t remember the brand) and it works perfectly EVERY TIME. I am NOT a cook, so this is a big deal for me!! Good luck!!
If you want some “kitchen inspiration” go to thepioneerwoman.com and look at her cooking section. She has a whole Thanksgiving spread with printable recipes. She’s an amateur photographer so she photographs her recipes step by step. There’s a recipe on there for gingersnap caramel pumpkin cheesecake that I’m dying to try. I think she brines her turkey also. Deep fried is good also, if you can find someone willing to do it for you….
The Pioneer Woman Cooks has step by step directions posted on her blog. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/11/my-thanksgiving-cooking-schedule/
Oh, and her stuff is a proven winner by my family! 🙂
I’m a B-I-G fan of the Martha turkey brining method: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/turkey-brine
It was the easiest, most deliciously moist turkey. It takes a lot of prep though … so if your turkey’s not thawed yet. It might not be an option for you.
i am not embarrassed to say that we get our turkey, smoked, from Rudy’s. well….kinda embarrassed.
I second the bag idea. I have been doing mine in a bag (just bought turkey bag today at walmart for less than $2 and you get two) for years and it keeps it nice and moist. Very easy and not labor intensive at all. Remember to remove the gizzards before baking though!!!!!! It’s not pleasant if you don’t, trust me! Good luck, you’ll be fine!
BRINE IT! BRINE IT! Brining sounds complicated but it’s not and it’s soooooooo worth it! we always use the san francisco chronicle’s brining recipe: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/11/27/FD140197.DTL&type=food And I just LOVE the little place setting turkey! too cute! good luck!
Mosey on over to the Food Network and check out Alton Brown’s Perfect Roasted Turkey. He does his with a brine and gives crystal clear directions from start to making gravy at the end. I’ve done it his way for the past three years, and it’s turned out perfect every single time. For a shortcut, if you have a spare minute or two and a Williams-Sonoma close by, I love their brining mix and brining bags (I’ve also seen variations at Whole Foods) The bags make it handy for people who don’t have room for a five gallon bucket in their fridge. I use the bag and store it in an ice-filled cooler on my back lanai…works like a charm. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!!!
The bag ROCKS! Once he is defrosted, open the Turkey Roasting Bag (mine is from Reynolds), put flour in the bag, put turkey in the bag, seal, put in a throw away roasting pan (think foil), put a foil tent over it, stick in oven on recommended temp and check in several hours. I think it is 30 minutes of cooking time per pound. By the way – I emailed you last weekend… just wanted to make sure it didn’t get lost! Good luck for Thanksgiving!