Friday, December 3, 2010

Gobble Gobble

A thousand years ago, when I was attempting my first Thanksgiving dinner, Debbie spent time writing down, by hand, on college-ruled notebook paper, step by step how to cook a turkey with stuffing.

Al Gore had yet to invent the internet and so email was not available to instantly receive turkey cooking instructions from your older sister.

Or communications from Ethiopia to tell me that I have won the Ethiopian lottery.  Which I haven't played.  But have still won.  Go figure.

Anyway ~

I used those instructions for many a year.  Even when I felt fairly confident on what to do, I still referred to my trusty instructions, carefully written out by my sister.

Those papers are yellowed, creased and torn but are still stashed in my Betty Crocker cookbook, the one Mom & Dad got for me Christmas in 1978.

These days we no longer roast our stuffed turkey in the oven.  These days we brine our turkey and Grandpa and Sammy cook it in the garage using the Big Easy.

This year we used cranberry juice and salt as the brine.   While the turkey was a festive pink color after it came out of the brine and was very moist after it was cooked, the cranberry juice didn't add much for flavor.  I think we will be going back to our tested and approved Taste of Home brine recipe.

Early this week, Randy and I officially declared ourselves tired of Thanksgiving leftovers and ordered a pizza.

Have the BEST day ever!
~ Dorothy

Apple Brined Turkey
  • 2 quarts unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 -1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger root, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 15 whole cloves (not 14, not 16)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves

Combine the above ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil; stir and cook until the salt and sugar are dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  • 3 medium oranges, quartered
  • 3 quarts cold water

Stir in oranges (I give them a little squeeze first.) Add the cold water to cool to room temperature.
  • 1 12 - 14 # turkey

Place turkey in a five gallon plastic bucket with a lid.  Pour the apple juice mixture over the turkey.  Cover and refrigerate for 18 - 24 hours.  
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Rinse turkey with cold water.  Rub with oil.  The turkey - rub the turkey with oil.  Cook like you want to.

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