Friday, November 26, 2010

This year's turkey, turkey brine and all

The flash on my camera is still broken, the sun had already set on Thanksgiving day, and I didn't have any fancy schmancy lighting available. I have no idea what happened to the piece of paper on which I wrote the specifics of the turkey brine I made and used this time around.


So, pardon me whilst I provide very little in the way of details. I started preparing the brine Wednesday morning. I used roughly 4 cups of kosher salt (I actually didn't have 4 cups left, so I substituted sea salt) and a heck of a lot of water. Enough to fill this pot all the way up to the top. I was dealing with a SIXTEEN POUND BIRD, not like the 10-12 pounder from last year.

Brought the water to nearly to a boil and made sure the salt dissolved. Then added parsley flakes and rubbed sage to the pot, let the liquid cool to room temperature, & my husband helped with the next step. He bagged the bird and the liquid in a huge, brand spanking new (unused) trash bag. Actually, I had him double bag the stuff; didn't want any accidents on the floor. Cleared a tupperware container, so we could surround the garbage bags housing the turkey and brine in ice. Poultry needs to stay cool, to avoid spoiling.

This year, unlike last year, there was no snow on the ground. Though we couldn't pack the turkey with snow, temps outside were plenty cold enough to keep our poultry company.

Thursday morning, my husband and I busily prepared many ingredients for both cooking the turkey and making chicken pot pie. I'll let you guess which is which. Just kidding on that last bit. Some potatoes, carrots, celery, and green onions went into baking the turkey. Also added freshly ground pepper, some apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. I placed slivers of unmelted (straight out of the refrigerator) butter on the top of the turkey.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (oven should be preheated as vegetables are being cut).

Cover turkey baking vessel. I baked the turkey for nearly 6 hours. Checked the internal turkey temperature (avoiding hitting the bone, of course) around half way through the bake time.

Can't tell from this photograph (STUPID broken flash), but the top of the turkey was golden brown. VERY exciting, considering this didn't happen last year. Juicy. Meat was falling off the bone by barely touching the meat.

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