Sunday, November 4, 2012

Turkey!

I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. I mean we are only 18 almost 17 days away from Thanksgiving.

It is weird to think that two years ago I wouldn’t give any thought towards planning a Thanksgiving menu since I just got to show up and eat. But show people you can cook and you get drafter to make the Thanksgiving meal…

So I have two Thanksgivings under my belt and I have to say it gets easier every time. In fact I had planned so well last year that I even made more than I planned since I was so relaxed. And I did it twice.. kinda.. so maybe I have more like 3 under my belt or 2 and a half… what? We wanted the yummy leftovers too so we had a mini Thanksgiving with a turkey breast when we got back home.

So my typical Thanksgiving menu plan consists of:
  • Cranberry Salsa- Which I make on Christmas Eve too ;]
  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Cranberries
  • Walnut Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Fruit Salad
 The desserts vary on who is joining us since I know I can trust a couple people to make the pies I want :]

Now I am going to go down the list over the next week or so and share all the recipes I use. Some are from family or used to be family and I create some via food network inspiration. I would call myself a foodnetworkista :]

So let us talk Turkey! A Turkey is the most important part, at least to mostly everyone I know.  Over the last two years we tried two different birds and one was a clear winner over the other. The winner is from Trader Joe’s and it is a brined turkey. With that being said we haven’t tried a brined turkey from anywhere else and once we move home and do Thanksgiving at our own place I plan on brining my own bird but for now that is the bird that we use.  I find that a brined bird stays way juicy and does not dry out as easily. 

Start by taking the bird out of the package and reach into the cavity and be sure to remove the giblets and livers and all that yummy goodness. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the bird in and out.
After thoroughly rinsed salt the bird inside and out then move onto the seasoning.
For the seasoning I make a garlic and herb butter and smother it al over the bird and under the skin too. The butter will be the juice that you baste the bird with during the cooking process. I think it is very important to baste the turkey during cooking.  I did not do it the first year and well I think it was apparent but we live and we learn.  Stuff the stems of the herbs,  onions, carrots and celery inside the bird or stuffing if you like to role like that. I personally do not put my stuffing in the bird I keep it separate and just put aromatics in the birds.
 As far as cooking temperature and time please follow the instructions on the package of the bird as it is what I use.
Now one thing that I do now that I never had heard of before is when we cook the bird we start by cooking it upside down as in breasts resting against the roasting pan and then halfway through we rotate it back. It supposedly keeps the juices in the breast but since this is how I have done it the last two years I do not know any different and well if it isn’t broke do not fix it ;].
So are you ready to tackle a big ole gobble gobble… Any Turkey day horror stories? Let me know 

Stay Crafty Friends!

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