Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flavor of the Week {Thanksgiving recipes}

Last year was my 1st time hosting Thanksgiving all on my own and I think it was an overall success.  I can't wait to have a house full of people again this year!  Because my resources are limited this year, I'm trying to get a jump start on my planning so I thought I would share a couple of the recipes I made last year that will be making an appearance again this year =)

***Side note
I just discovered I am missing about 2 months worth of photos from last year (including the ones from Thanksgiving) and I am REALLY not happy about it!  They are not on my computer or my external hard drive!!! I'm so angry!  I guess it's time I start using 2 systems to back up my photos instead of just 1!  So you only get one photo for all these recipes because it's the only one I have (thanks to facebook!)***

I have to confess, I'm not a huge fan of turkey.  Every time I've ever had it, it has been dry and bland...YUCK!  Every time that is until last year when I made this Emeril recipe.  It was the most tender, juicy, delicious turkey I have ever eaten in my life and I will never make a turkey another way!  EVER! (ok, that's a lie, I really want to try Alton Brown's brine version, but for now, this is the best turkey recipe I've ever had)  It is a bit time consuming, but I promise you, it is every bit worth it!!!

For the brine, you will need a clean, unused 5 gallon bucket (or a large cooler) and

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
Dissolve the salt and sugar in  2 gallons of cold water.  Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary. (Note: if you have a larger turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.  You want to be able to submerge the entire turkey in the solution)
Remove everything from the cavity of the turkey. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water. Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

For cooking the turkey

  • 1 large orange, cut into 1/8ths
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/8ths
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 bunch sage
  • 3 or 4 sprigs parsley
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels both inside and out. Place turkey, breast side up, in a large, heavy roasting pan. Rub breast side with orange segments and rub on all sides with the butter, stuffing some underneath the skin. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, remaining orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup chicken or turkey stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock.
Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
And the gravy that goes with it...YUM!  It was my 1st time making gravy from scratch and I just wanted to drink it =)

For the gravy

  • 4 cups turkey broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat.  Place the roasting pan on 2 stove top burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

What's on your MUST HAVE list for Thanksgiving?!?


JG said...

Ooh, thanks for sharing this! Looks like I will be doing our own Thanksgiving this year, so I am definitely bookmarking this one. :)

Michelle A'etonu said...

OMG...I think I might try this. I've never made a turkey on my own before, so I'm terrified. but this sounds great!

Jessica Lynn said...

My husband and I have made the Alton Brown version for the past three years (this will be our fourth year) and every year it comes out better than the last, and every year everyone RAVES about how delicious the turkey is! Definitely give it a chance—it's changed my opinion about turkey!

hmb said...

Yum! I can't make my own turkey..too intimidating! haha