Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Our holiday was low key yet had all the trimmings of a great Thanksgiving meal.
I tried a brinning solution for our turkey using what sounded like a great recipe from the Neeleys from the Food Network. I'd seen the Neeleys themselves demostrating this recipe on two separate shows the week before Thanksgiving. Looked pretty good so I decided to give it a try.
I have considered brinning a turkey for several years now but put it of since my turkeys always come out very moist, which is the point of brinning in the first place. This recipe looked so good and easy I decided this would be the year to give it a try.
1 gallon of fresh cook water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of bourbon
1 Tablespoon of pepper corns
Mix all ingredients well inside a bag large enough to fit the turkey and liquid. Carefully lower the turkey into the bag. Close up the bag and lower it into an ice chest. Cover bag with ice and set out in the garage or other cool room. Or, place it in your refrigerator if you have the space.
Brine the turkey for up to 24 hours ahead or at least 12 hours turning the turkey over at least once during the process. Keep an eye on the ice adding more ice as needed to keep the turkey ice cold.
Remove the turkey from the brine when ready to roast it. Pat the turkey dry and prepare it for roasting as you usually do.
I tried this brinning solution and let it brine for about 24 hours. When all was said and done I really couldn't tell any difference in the taste. Of course, I suppose it is possible that this turkey could have been very dry had I not brinned it. But as you can see, it looked great and it tasted as good as any turkey I've ever prepared.
So will I bother to brine next year? Well, it wasn't a lot of extra work, but any extra unnecessary work at holiday time is just a waste of time. So probably not!
The rest of our 2008 Thanksgiving dinner menu:
- Roast Turkey
- Turkey gravy
- Cornbread and Sausage Dressing
- Roasted Brussles Sprouts
- Orange Cranberry Chutney
- Cranberry Fluff Salad
- Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Pecan Crust
We had friends over for the dinner as well and Peggy, Lara and Fred all contributed to the meal as well. We spent a wonderful afternoon with Gram and the Wepprechts. Along about time for dessert our friend Scott Opsahl came by for a short visit. By about 9:00 pm everyone had gone and the dinner was all but clean up. I finished carving the other half of the turkey and we found a home for all the left overs in the fridge. ________________________________________