Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thanksgiving in February

I got a turkey on sale this weekend, so I invited my parents over for supper tonight. I'm not gonna beat around the bush.... it was amazing. You can hardly imagine how good this meal was. Let me walk you through it:

First, I brined the turkey. (I've only ever cooked 3 turkeys, 2 of which I brined, and 1 of which was somewhat of a disaster. From now on, turkeys will always be brined in my house.)

16 c. water
1 c. kosher salt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. coarse pepper
2 apples, cut into pieces

Boil that mixture until the sugar and salt are all dissolved. Let it cool completely, then put the turkey in a brining bag (a huge ziploc freezer bag) and pour the brine over top, adding enough water to just cover the turkey. Seal it up and put it in the fridge for 1 hour per pound. Take the turkey out and discard the brine. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry.

Next, I seasoned the turkey with Epicure's Turkey Rub and some Maple Spice. I rubbed this all over the turkey, and underneath the skin as well. I put a big square of butter underneath the skin on each breast, and drizzled the whole bird with olive oil. Then I brushed it with maple syrup, put the lid on the roaster, and put it in the oven at 325 F for 3 hours, brushing it with maple syrup and basting it with the juices in the pan every hour.
This bird was 8.2 kg, which (according to the websites I checked) required about 4 hours of cooking. So when there was still an hour left, I took it out of the oven, and draped it with strips of bacon. Then I brushed and basted again, put the lid back on, and popped it back in the oven for the last hour.

For side dishes, I made garlic mashed potatoes and Stove Top Stuffing (didn't take a picture of those), and I roasted some carrots and onions with olive oil and brown sugar. (I put them in the oven for the last 30-40 minutes while the turkey was finishing.)I also made some scrumptious Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus by wrapping half a slice of bacon around each piece of asparagus, and then laying them in a grill pan and baking at 400 F for about 15 minutes. Then instead of turning them over, I just turned the broiler on for about 10 minutes until they looked done. This was quite possibly the most fabulous turkey dinner I've ever laid eyes on. I'm sorry, but I'm not even going to be modest about it. The gravy was heavenly (maple syrup and bacon'll do that), the asparagus was divine (my daughter probably ate 5 pieces), the turkey was juicy and flavourful, the mashed potatoes and carrots were great, and well, Stove Top Stuffing never disappoints either!

Now I have an immense pot of turkey broth to use up (I think I'll make cream of potato soup this weekend), and I have tons of leftover turkey (some of which I'll use for the last entry in my recipe contest tomorrow.)

Happy Thanksgiving in February!!!

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Pam said...

now I really want to make a turkey dinner. Yum.

Denise :) said...

Man oh Man...
If I ate like you I would be 300lbs!!!
I hope you thank the metabolism gods daily!
Bacon in our house is a delicacy... but MMMMMMMM that all sounds soooo goood!