Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thanksgiving Countown - Day 1 The Turkey!

Sorry I'm so slow in getting the post up. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a great time co-hosting a baby shower for Julia. It was fabulous and so fun to see her and her husband. She looks so cute! As soon as I get some pictures I'll try to post some.

I'm so excited to start sharing some of our Thanksgiving Favorites with you. First of all, let me warn you this is a LONG post. DO NOT GET OVERWHELMED! We are going to start with the basics this week and then move on to some fun extras next week. On the Menu for this week:

Buttermilked-Brined Turkey
Bread and Sausage Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Perfect Dinner Rolls
Pie

Let's get started shall we? This is one of those recipes you can do in steps and is actually not too hard. Also, I've included a couple different variations for cooking the turkey after the brining is done. Julia introduced me to this method about two years ago and I love it. It produces a very moist, flavorful turkey every time. Obviously you will need to plan ahead but the process is pretty simple and well worth the end results! I've included the basic version for cooking the turkey after the brining is finished or a delicious sage/butter version that we did a couple years ago.

*Soaking the turkey in a saltwater brine produces tender, juicy meat. In this recipe the brine mixture also includes buttermilk, which adds flavor to the turkey and helps keep the meat moist.*

Buttermilk-Brined Turkey
Williams Sonoma

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups turkey brine (either made or purchased. see bottom of recipe for brine options)
1 quart water
4 quarts buttermilk
1 fresh turkey, 16 to 18 lb., neck, heart and gizzard removed (reserved, if desired)
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions:
In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the turkey brine and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the brine dissolves, 5 to 10 minutes. Let the brine mixture cool to room temperature. In a large pot, stir together the brine mixture and buttermilk.Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and place in a large brining bag. Carefully pour the buttermilk brine mixture into the bag. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and place in a large stockpot or other container large enough to hold the turkey. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours, turning occasionally.

Basic Turkey Brine
1/2 cup Kosher Salt
1/4 Sugar
3 quarts water

Combine ingredients until just boiling and salt and sugar are dissolved. Let cool before adding to turkey.

OR:

Maple Brine (great for the holidays)
3 cups Water
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1 tbsp. Molasses
1 tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
2 Bay Leaves
1 tbsp. Kosher Salt
1 tbsp. onion juice
10 Whole Peppercorns
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. whole Mustard Seed

Combine ingredients until just boiling and salt is dissolved. Let cool before adding to turkey.

Directions for Basic Turkey (after brining)

Remove the turkey from the brine; discard the brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard the excess fat. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the skin evenly with the butter. Truss the turkey as desired using kitchen twine. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour.Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ยบF and continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. After about 2 hours of total roasting time, begin testing for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and thigh, away from the bone. The breast should register 165°F and the thigh, 175°F. Total roasting time should be 3 to 4 hours. Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 12 to 14.


Oven Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter
Tyler Florence

Ingredients
12-14 lb. turkey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sage Butter, recipe follows


Directions

Remove the turkey from the brine; discard the brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard the excess fat. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven. Truss the turkey as desired using kitchen twine. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Cover the turkey with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Push the sage butter under the skin of the turkey, being careful not to puncture the skin.
Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, and into the oven. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes per pound). If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting, cover them with foil.
*note- if you are using a larger turkey you will need to increase the time. Follow the 15 minutes per pound rule.*

Sage Butter:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped sage
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Stay tuned for some out of this world stuffing!


Posted by: Sallie & Julia
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2 comments:

Miranda said...

I love the sound of this brine.
I will not be baking a turkey. It is a long story, but we are stuck in a effeciency hotel for a little bit. We are moving to Gainesville, but we are stuck in the middle. The job is not ready, but we sold our house. It is hard with two littlw ones....But I enjoy your site. I signed up for email updates.

My Sister's Kitchen said...

Too bad about being stuck in the hotel. I can't even imagine having all my little ones stuck in a hotel but great that you sold your house. Hope you have a fun Thanksgiving.

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