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How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

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Masha
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How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Masha » November 23rd, 2015, 11:33 pm

I am sorry to say that I still do not truly have my legs for this holiday and so my husband takes on all duties associated with it. I am allowed to cook yams.

His method of preparing turkey is to remove the wrapper, rinse the bird and put it in a five-gallon bucket. He then covers it with water and adds two heaping handfuls of Kosher salt for each gallon of water. This then sits covered for a day. He did that yesterday. Today he removed the bird and poured out the brine. He removed the neck and giblets from the interior. He rinsed the bird inside and out and returned it to the bucket. He rubbed the interior of the bird with our fresh rosemary and added more to sit inside it. He then cut six key limes and two lemons and placed then into the bird. He added approx. one-half cup of apple cider vinegar and covered the bird with cold water and added two handfuls of Kosher salt and one handful of dark brown sugar for each gallon of water.

That will sit on cool back porch until Wednesday when he will drain the brine and add fresh rosemary and limes and lemons and brine.

He prefers to roast by placing the bird in a very hot oven and then soon turning it down to 250 degrees and letting it roast most of the day.

I have tasted other people's turkey and did not care for it overmuch. I love his! It is one of the reasons I keep him around. ;)
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Professional Tourist » November 24th, 2015, 8:44 am

Masha, I admit that I've never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner. As a kid and young adult I attended family dinners, where the meal was prepared portuguese style (I believe I talked about that in a Thanksgiving discussion some years back), and always enjoyed those. You are fortunate to have a spouse who is such a good cook. :) I'm planning my usual delivery from a local diner, perhaps a full turkey dinner or just a turkey sandwich if I'm not up for that much food. We shall see.

Do you prepare any of the other elements of the traditional american Thanksgiving dinner yourself, Masha, such as the stuffing or the pumpkin pie?

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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby moira finnie » November 24th, 2015, 9:57 am

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Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Your husband's brining technique sounds great, Masha. I especially like the citrus flavoring he adds. PT's delicious-sounding Portuguese Turkey feasts past (and five more pages of Thanksgiving food talk among SSO members) can be found here: viewtopic.php?t=3810

I have tried the wet method of brining in the past and now prefer a "dry turkey brine" since it is less of a hassle for me (and doesn't require taking up space in our bathtub with a turkey in a bucket). Brining of any kind does seem to help make the bird moist and the skin crisp. In addition I am doing a spatchcock method this year, which may sound naughty but is actually just a way of removing the backbone (good for stock) and splaying the bird to facilitate roasting. Many people cook the stuffing separately from the butterflied bird, but we like it in the bird traditionally (and removed after done). This year, I think it will go under the spatch'ed turkey. More about dry brining & spatchcocking can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/pognzsj

The real interesting aspect of the holiday for me this year is that I am cooking two turkeys for three different households! If interested, I will let you know how it all shakes out later this week. I know this sounds crazy, but organization and caffeine are my friends (I hope). Today, I apply the dry brine, make two pumpkin pies, stuffing, and two batches of apple-pear crumble. Carrots are peeled, broccoli and asparagus are here, yams are peeled and sliced, celery is diced, onions are minced. Now where's that coffee??
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Masha » November 24th, 2015, 4:24 pm

Professional Tourist wrote:Do you prepare any of the other elements of the traditional american Thanksgiving dinner yourself, Masha, such as the stuffing or the pumpkin pie?


He allows me the yams. I bake them, peel them, mash them, mix in butter, sour cream, eggs and brown sugar. This is then whipped by electric mixer and put into ramekins. Bake to set them and then put under broiler to brown.

We do not make pumpkin pie from scratch. We find the frozen-to-bake-at-home are acceptable. He does the stuffing and roasted corn.

We do not have flurry of activity in kitchen which is stereotypical hallmark of the day. Slow-roasting the turkey and having only a few simple side-dishes means that we can proceed at leisurely pace.
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Masha » November 24th, 2015, 4:33 pm

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moira finnie wrote:In addition I am doing a spatchcock method this year, which may sound naughty but is actually just a way of removing the backbone (good for stock) and splaying the bird to facilitate roasting.

The real interesting aspect of the holiday for me this year is that I am cooking two turkeys for three different households! If interested, I will let you know how it all shakes out later this week. I know this sounds crazy, but organization and caffeine are my friends (I hope). Today, I apply the dry brine, make two pumpkin pies, stuffing, and two batches of apple-pear crumble. Carrots are peeled, broccoli and asparagus are here, yams are peeled and sliced, celery is diced, onions are minced. Now where's that coffee??


The spatchcock method appears to be how we mostly do chickens in skillet. It is not easy to do here because chickens are larger and skillets are smaller but I will at times do it with Guinea Hens.

I have concern for your drinking copious amounts of coffee. I would recommend instead: Monster Zero Ultra drink. It has vitamins which are important for energy. Pluses are also that it has no calories and it mixes well with dark rum.
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby moira finnie » November 24th, 2015, 6:15 pm

I love the idea of the dark rum in the Monster energy drink! Sounds like a good cocktail for the weekend when turkey sandwiches are on the menu for almost everyone.
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Masha » November 24th, 2015, 7:55 pm

moira finnie wrote:I love the idea of the dark rum in the Monster energy drink! Sounds like a good cocktail for the weekend when turkey sandwiches are on the menu for almost everyone.


It is not a drink for relaxing. It is for when you need great energy but wish a little something to boost spirits at same time.
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Lzcutter » November 24th, 2015, 8:44 pm

We are cooking a traditional meal for the first time in many years. I roast the turkey, wrapped in bacon (after rubbing down the bird with herbs), to keep him moist. That way you don't have to open the oven every few hours and baste him. The turkey does not taste like bacon when done but is very juicy due to the bacon fat.

I take the bacon off in the final hour and take the aluminum foil off so that the turkey can get a nice golden blonde. I also stuff the turkey with the tradiitonal southern cornbread (augmented with sourdough and rye) dressing.

Jon will make a dressing with grilled sausage, rice, carrots, and cranberries.

For the veggie, I will grill yams and butternut squash with a hint of brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup.

Plus garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes (you roast the garlic before adding to the spuds) and, of course, gravy.

We have homemade pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

It will be long day but spending it with some of our extended family (people we have known for years) will be well worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!!
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Professional Tourist » November 24th, 2015, 9:07 pm

Masha wrote:I have concern for your drinking copious amounts of coffee. I would recommend instead: Monster Zero Ultra drink. It has vitamins which are important for energy. Pluses are also that it has no calories and it mixes well with dark rum.

I was curious about this drink, found the manufacturer's web site, but could find no info on the ingredients, not even an image of the label. Did some more searching, and found that an eight-ounce serving has about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. The Monster beverages have several ingredients to contribute to increased energy, but caffeine is one of them.

The info label is available on this Amazon product page:

http://www.amazon.com/16-Pack-Monster-Energy-Ultra/dp/B00BPMU9SA

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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Masha » November 24th, 2015, 9:29 pm

Professional Tourist wrote:
Masha wrote:I have concern for your drinking copious amounts of coffee. I would recommend instead: Monster Zero Ultra drink. It has vitamins which are important for energy. Pluses are also that it has no calories and it mixes well with dark rum.

I was curious about this drink, found the manufacturer's web site, but could find no info on the ingredients, not even an image of the label. Did some more searching, and found that an eight-ounce serving has about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. The Monster beverages have several ingredients to contribute to increased energy, but caffeine is one of them.

The info label is available on this Amazon product page:

http://www.amazon.com/16-Pack-Monster-Energy-Ultra/dp/B00BPMU9SA


My concern with coffee is not caffeine. It is tannins which affect absorption of minerals. I do not have information handy but it is in my mind that absorption of iron and calcium is reduced by minimum of fifty percent. There is growing evidence also that tannins in coffee and tea create ideal environment for bacteria which cause some ulcers.

It is also that an early use of coffee was as pesticide. I think each time that I look at cup of coffee: "Ah, a nice steaming hot cup of bug killer."

Monster Ultra Zero here is: $14.87 for case of ten cans.
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby moira finnie » November 25th, 2015, 12:42 am

Actually, Masha, I realized that I have had Monster energy drinks in the past. They do taste like bug spray. I was being facetious about the mixed drink made with them. We usually make cocktails with cranberry juice as the mixer at Thanksgiving. Um, I drink tea mostly, though once in awhile I go for the jolt of a cup of Joe. I have had to give up most of my once thriving life of spice and vice, so a few tannins don't worry me too much. Something's going to get me someday.

Lynn, your feast sounds great. I like the idea of grilled butternut squash. Does it get a little bit of a smoky flavor then?Your method of wrapping the turkey in bacon is quite intriguing. Is the bacon used for anything else or does it get tossed when removed from the Tom?
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby moira finnie » November 25th, 2015, 12:45 am

We are having a bit of a debate tonight. Do you guys put an egg in your stuffing/dressing or not?
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Rita Hayworth » November 25th, 2015, 11:16 am

Terrific Ideas here ... but I prefer the traditional way and that's how I like it.

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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Masha » November 25th, 2015, 4:44 pm

Lzcutter wrote:We are cooking a traditional meal for the first time in many years. I roast the turkey, wrapped in bacon (after rubbing down the bird with herbs), to keep him moist. That way you don't have to open the oven every few hours and baste him. The turkey does not taste like bacon when done but is very juicy due to the bacon fat.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!!


I am sure that is delicious! My husband has learned how to do bacon-weave of any length and so we have done bacon-wrapped chicken. They are indeed wonderful.

I hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
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Re: How are you fixing your turkeys for Thanksgiving?

Postby Masha » November 25th, 2015, 4:47 pm

moira finnie wrote:We are having a bit of a debate tonight. Do you guys put an egg in your stuffing/dressing or not?


I am sorry to say that I am not allowed to know exact recipe which my husband uses. It may be for the best because it would not be definitive as most of what he prepares is adapted/altered according to what he does think the food needs at the moment.
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