Friday, November 25, 2005

The BEST Turkey ever !!

Thanksgiving was great, Mom and Dickie came over and we had a ball. We tried a new receipe for our turkey from epicurious.

We used one of our pastured Bourbon Red turkeys and quite frankly if I had any questions about next years price increase, they are gone this is worth it, especially considering how many people you can feed from one 16.75 pound bird.

Remember that pastured birds have 21% less fat, 30 % less saturated fat, 28 % fewer cals, 100 more omega 3's and 50% more vitamin A.

We look forward to my side of the family getting together for that Thanksgiving on Sunday when we will do this again.

I cooked it at 325 for exactly 4 hours and let it set for 30 minutes, I didn't have any light molasses so I used dark, other wise I follow the receipe pretty closely, I did probably put in more sage and thyme since we have that growing in our herb garden.

You have GOT to try this:

From Epicurious

Brining ensures moist, succulent meat, and this recipe from Bruce Aidells, chef and founder of Aidells Sausage Company, could not be easier or more low-tech. The special equipment required? Two 30-gallon plastic bags and one very large (16-quart) bowl that will fit in the fridge. You'll want to get started a day ahead, because the turkey is brined for 18 to 20 hours. Stuffing this turkey is not recommended; the brine remaining in the meat may soak into the stuffing during roasting.
Stock5 cups low-salt chicken broth2 medium carrots, chopped2 large celery stalks, chopped1 onion, halved2 small bay leavesNeck, heart, and gizzard reserved from 18- to 20-pound turkey
Brine and turkey1 18- to 20-pound turkey7 quarts water2 cups coarse salt (about 9 ounces) 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar1 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses2 bunches fresh thyme1 bunch fresh sage2 quarts ice cubes
2 large onions, halved1 head of garlic, halved horizontally3 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon ground black pepper1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
4 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth
Gravy1 cup finely chopped onion1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme20 gingersnap cookies, coarsely crumbled (about 1 3/4 cups) 3 to 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce1/4 cup whipping cream (optional)
For stock: Combine broth, carrots, celery, onion, and bay leaves in large saucepan. Add reserved neck, heart, and gizzard. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until stock is reduced to 3 1/4 cups, about 1 hour. Strain turkey stock into medium bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover stock and refrigerate.)
For brine and turkey: Line very large (about 16-quart) bowl with two 30-gallon plastic bags, one inside the other. Rinse turkey inside and out. Place turkey in plastic-lined bowl. Combine 7 quarts water, salt, sugar, molasses, 1 bunch thyme, and 1/2 bunch sage in large bowl or pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Mix in ice cubes. Pour brine over turkey in plastic bags. Gather tops of bags together, eliminating air space above brine; seal bags. Refrigerate turkey in brine 18 to 20 hours.
Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350°F. Remove turkey from brine. Drain very well; discard brine. Pat turkey dry inside and out. Place turkey on small rack set in large roasting pan. Fill main cavity with remaining 1 bunch thyme and 1/2 bunch sage, onions, and garlic. Stir oil, pepper, chopped thyme, and chopped sage in small bowl to form paste; smear all over outside of turkey. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape.
Roast turkey 1 hour, tenting loosely with foil if browning quickly. Turn pan around; roast turkey 30 minutes. Pour 1 cup broth over turkey; re-tent loosely with foil. Roast turkey, basting with 1 cup broth every 30 minutes until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, about 2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter. Remove vegetables and herbs from main cavity and discard. Spoon any juices from cavity into roasting pan. Let turkey stand 30 minutes (internal temperature will increase 5 to 10 degrees).
For gravy: Strain pan juices into bowl. Spoon off fat, reserving 2 tablespoons. Heat reserved 2 tablespoons turkey fat in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and thyme. Sauté until onion browns, about 10 minutes. Add turkey stock, gingersnaps, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Add 2 cups degreased pan juices and bring to boil, whisking to dissolve gingersnaps. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until gravy thickens, about 4 minutes. Season gravy to taste with salt and pepper, adding remaining tablespoon vinegar and cream, if desired.
Serve turkey with gravy.Makes 12 to 14 servings.Bon AppétitNovember 2002
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92% would makethis recipe again
A Cook from Cheshire, CT on 11/23/05
The salt does not make the food salty - it sets up a condition that makes water enter the cells of the turkey, thus making it moist. By cutting back on the salt compared to the amount of water, the correct ratio of salt solution to food will not be correct. Read more about brining. Also, brining works great with chicken and pork. We don't grill either without brining first.
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A Cook from Jacksonville, FL on 11/23/05
I made this turkey last year for Thanksgiving and received raving reviews. I am not a salt person so did not add as much salt as the recipe called for. Also when I made the gravy I forgot to make the stock so made the gravy without it and it still came out great. I usually prefer the side items instead of the turkey but this recipe was so good, I couldn't resist seconds. The gravy is a must, well worth the effort!
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luv4ro from Sandy, UT on 11/22/05
This turkey was amazing! (I don't even like turkey!) We made this last year and everyone raved that it was the best turkey they ever had. This year, my family asked for it again. SO GOOD and gravy is wonderful!


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