Saturday, November 04, 2006

Let's talk Turkey

My sister-in-law and I are going to commence on our first ever Thanksgiving dinner, and it should be interesting. She's a bit challenged in the cooking department, but I can balance that out. However, she does bake well. We plan on roasting a 12-15 lb turkey (whatever my husband's work gives us for free for Thanksgiving- usually around that size). I keep hearing that you should roast your turkey upside down so the juices run into the breast. While that sounds fine and dandy, I have to wonder- what about the skin?? Doesn't it turn into a moist pile of goop? The guys (my husband and her husband) love their turkey skin to be crispy and brown. How does that work out??

If I plan on cooking it traditionally, do you think adding maybe some sage or rosemary would hurt? I think it may be a nice little addition to the butter we are rubbing all over that thing. (LOL!)

Our menu for the day includes the following:
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Rolls
  • Canned cranberry sauce (blech!!!)
  • Corn
  • Gravy (homemade)
  • Salad
  • An assortment of pies: Pumpkin Cheesecake (I am making), SIL is making Apple and Pumpkin Pie
I think that should be enough for us 4 plus 3 kids and possibly some stragglers (her mom maybe, maybe BIL's dad and his wife). What do you think? Should we add more food?


At 5:10 PM, Blogger Mazenbloo said...

Sounds like plenty of food to me. Though I'm a fan of something green for a veggie. I hate green been casserole but sometimes make green beans (with garlic) or roasted broccoli or something.

As for the turkey I do a mix of some herbs and butter (shhhh) and put in under the skin and some over the top and do the Alton Brown method of cooking. You could also attempt a brine if you're looking for something different. One year I'm going to attempt that. LOL His method you do a high heat at the beginning to brown the skin (like 500 degrees) and then after 20-30 mins you turn it down to 350. I did that the ONE year I've had Thanksgiving here and everyone raved about the turkey. :D

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous kate said...

Girl, are you kidding me? Rosemary is GREAT on turkey! :)

DH made this recipe once and it was wonderful. If you don't want to spring for the prosciutto (which I wouldn't this year, lol), there are lots of other options using rosemary. Sage works great too.

I'm a big rosemary fan. Even used it at my wedding!

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous kate said...

Oh, also, one more thing, cranberries are super easy to make. If you don't like canned, consider buying a bag and making them on the stovetop.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger Mazenbloo said...

I agree with Kate. Cranberries on the stove top is SO easy. And you can doctor them up with different things like spices or I put orange juice/zest in mine. Yummmmmy!

At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Jane said...

I am attempting my 2nd thanksgiving this year. Two years ago, I cooked a 25 lb bird. I did a brine. It was delicious! Brining adds more salt, but the salt really helps the bird retain moisture during cooking! It was excellent. Instead of roasting it in a rack, I created my own rack in the bottom of a big disposable roasting pan using carrots and celery. Added some flavor to the juices used for gravy. The brine I used I got at Williams-Sonoma, but this year I am going to hunt for my own brine recipe. But will still go with the brining bags available at Williams-Sonoma. Anyways, that's my (long) 2 cents! Good luck. Keep us posted on your plans and how it is going!

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Thank you guys so much!!! I'm a bit nervous but excited about it. I cooked my own first turkey back in 2004, but it's been almost 2 years so I'm a bit rusty.

Mazen & Kate, my SIL wants the cranberry sauce- none of us do (we all hate it), and she wants that jellied/canned stuff. EWWW! I'll tell her about that tho...maybe change her mind. I sure as heck ain't touching it! LOL!!!!

Jane, I've heard of brining but I haven't ever done it. I think I'll look up a few ways to brine the turkey and maybe that will help a bit. My husband complained when I talked about baking the turkey breast down ("No crispy skin!! Are you nuts!?"). I'll definitely write about our Thanksgiving adventure! :)

Thanks everyone!

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous kate said...

My uncle brined the turkey a couple of years ago and then cooked it on the BBQ.

Best. Turkey. EVER.

Just saying. I'd do that again in a heartbeat.

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're missing the squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, and a green.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Nahh, we don't like any of that. The greens may be green beans, but typically speaking, isn't a salad green? LOL.


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