Turkey Time / Countdown to Thanksgiving
Every Thanksgiving, cook plans out the festive meal thinking through the appetizer, main dishes, sides and desserts. But, the most important element of the Thanksgiving feast is the much-revered Turkey.
Brining and Roasting the Turkey
Our family prepared mom’s roasted turkey the same way every year and always with rave reviews. Several years ago, I dared to be different. I broke the cycle! My favorite TV chef, Alton Brown, talked about brining a turkey along with the much faster method of roasting the turkey. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html Sorry mom, but a new family tradition was immediately made.
Brining produces a moist and well flavored bird. Alton Brown’s roasting temperatures gives way to shorter required cooking time. The cooking starts with a high temperature of 500 degrees for 30 minutes. At this point, don’t be afraid, as the high temperature will produce some smoking in the kitchen. Then the oven is reduced to 350 degrees for approximately 2-1/2 hours (for a 14-16 lb turkey). The turkey is picture perfect - Norman Rockwell step to the side!
This favorite recipe is one of the highest rated recipes on the Food Channel site - currently 4,045 - 5-star reviews.
Injecting and Deep Frying the Turkey
Personally, deep frying a turkey frightens me. There are too many possible dangers for my ever-wandering mind. However, for those of you who will take this route, certain safety precautions need to be met. An episode of, In the American Kitchen, covers the safety and cooking methods used by the New Lenox Fire Department. The episode is airing everyday this week at 11:30 am and 5:30 pm and could be watched in its entirety on youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo4ak83BkYI&feature=youtu.be
New Lenox’s Fire Chief Jon Mead takes the audience through precautions that need to be taken when deep frying a turkey. There are some serious consequences for straying from his skilled and professional recommendations. The firehouse then demonstrates how they prepare a deep fried bird. They inject a well defrosted turkey and follow all the safety measures outlined in the show. As with every show, my favorite part is to taste the food, Their tasty and moist turkey that injecting and deep frying produced was wonderful!
So thanksgiving cooks - these are just a few well-tested choices. Let me know if you have a different method of preparing the bird! We'd love to hear about your turkey tradition.