November 11, 2017 Turkey Show Show Notes:
-Rachel McCormick’s always juicy, always delicious brined turkey recipe. Recipe below.
-Turkey Herding from Fred Sauceman’s “Potluck Radio”. Connect with Fred: https://www.facebook.com/fred.sauceman
-Amy brings you tips on selecting the right size turkey for the crowd, thawing, brining, and cooking your Thanksgiving turkey. All of this information is written below.
Rachel’s always juicy brined turkey recipe:
1 c. Kosher salt
1/2 C. light brown sugar
1 Gallon chicken stock
1 TB. Black peppercorns
1/2 Tb. Allspice berries
1/2 Tsp. Candied ginger
1 Gallon ice water
-Put salt, sugar, chicken stock in crockpot, allow to dissolve and then cool.
-Place turkey bread side down in large container (food safe plastic, stainless steel, or a brining bag, or as Rachel used a paint bucket she bought from Lowes), pour brine and water over turkey.
Brine for 6 - 8 hours depending on the size of the turkey. Or average 45 - 60 minutes per lb. in brine solution.
-Remove turkey from brine over the sink. Discard the brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.
*It may turn this light blue color, that is OK, means you are doing it right. Don’t panic.
-Truss the turkey’s legs.
1 red apple (cut in 1/2 or quarters, 1/2 onion, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 c. water.
Microwave all for 5 minutes and then stuff into bird cavity.
Cheesecloth skin wrapping:
Cheese cloth (Enough to cover turkey in 1 layer)
1/2 stick Butter (melted)
Herbs De Provence (a couple of pinches)
White Wine (1/2 c. dry white wine)
Melt the butter and add all together, soak the cheesecloth in this mixture for a minute or 2, then drape over the turkey.
*White wine tip use a DRY white wine. Sweet wine will burn the skin.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roast turkey for 30 minutes, then turn it down to 350 degrees. Let it sit there until it is done. (when the meat thermometer reads 160 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh.
Pull it out of the oven. Remove the cheesecloth, cover with foil until ready.
Tips for selecting, preparing, brining and cooking your turkey
Selecting a turkey:
-Figure on 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person
-If you are expecting a crowd (over 12 people, instead of buying a huge turkey, consider buying 2 smaller turkeys. The larger turkeys (say 15 pounds and over) can cook unevenly, possibly leaving you with very dry outer white meat.
-They also can be so heavy, that they are more difficult to lift, and manage.
-The smaller size birds are more likely to be in stock and the heritage and organic varieties come in smaller size birds.
Fresh or frozen?: If you are planning on using a frozen turkey, be sure to allow yourself ample time to thaw it out. There are 2 different safe ways to thaw out the bird. Refrigerator or cold water thawing. If you use the refrigerator, it is easy, but takes more time.
To thaw a turkey in ice water, you have to constantly change the ice water every 30 minutes, and rotate the bird to keep the temperature consistent and prevent bacteria proliferation.
Thawing on the counter is not a good idea because of the uneven temperatures in the bird and invitation to bacteria growth.
Thaw breast side up, in an unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge
-Be sure the fridge temp is (40 degrees Fahrenheit or below).
-Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs. of turkey.
-Use within 4 days after thawing.
Cold Water Thawing
Thaw breast side down, in an unopened wrapper, with enough cold water to
cover your turkey completely.
-Change water every 30 minutes and if turkey cannot be completely covered, rotate every 30 minutes to keep the turkey chilled.
Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb. of turkey.
Brining the turkey will make it more juicy. The primary reason to brine the turkey is to ensure the meat is moist as opposed to imparting flavor.
Here are steps to brining:
First thing here is to be sure the container you are going to brine your turkey with will fit in your fridge.
-Purchase a fresh turkey to eliminate the need to thaw, or completely thaw a frozen turkey.
-The night before roasting, remove the giblets and turkey neck. Rinse the turkey inside and out.-Prepare your brine. Be sure to mix ingredients until all of the salt is dissolved. -If your brine is heated, be sure to cool it to room temperature before brining.
-Place the turkey, breast down, in a large container made of food-grade plastic, stainless steel, glass, or a brining bag.
-Add brine, covering the entire turkey.
-Place in the refrigerator to let the brine do it’s thing. As a rule of thumb, you should brine your turkey 45 to 60 minutes per pound.
-Remove turkey from brine after recommended time. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Cook turkey as desired.
(For an unstuffed bird, it takes roughly 15 minutes per pound to cook.) If you want to cook a frozen turkey, it will take at least 50 percent longer than the recommended times. This information is from the USDA and is based on a 325°F oven, and a fully defrosted or fresh bird.
*Be sure to remove the pack of giblets from the cavity before cooking.
Basting: This does not make your turkey moist, it just makes the skin golden.
Natural roasting rack with vegetables:
Create a natural roasting rack for your turkey by layering carrots, onions and celery on the bottom of the roasting pan. Lifting the turkey off the base of the pan helps to increase hot air circulation around the whole bird so that it will get crispy all over. And the vegetables add great flavor to the gravy.
How to tell if the bird is done?
-Put a meat thermometer in the ticket part of the thigh (don’t let it hit the bone) when it reads 165 degrees, it is done.
-If you do not have a thermometer, pierce the thigh with the point of a sharp knife, and if the juices run clear it is done.