Thanksgiving debriefing

Our thanksgiving went off pretty much without a hitch this year, thankfully. Here’s some photos and comments from my daughter about the whole thing.

I can’t believe I forgot to get a photo of the turkey! It was glorious, something out of a Rockwell painting. And it turned out to be pretty yummy, too, which is a good thing… I didn’t notice how much it had cost until I was unwrapping it, and my husband came up behind me and looked in the sink, and let out a holler… “WHAT!?”

So the pressure was on. I had to make this fifty-mumble dollar Heritage Bronze turkey worth every bite. And I have to say, with not very much modesty, that all the planets lined up right and I pulled through in the clutch. There’s still a bit left in the fridge (it WAS a 14.3 lb. specimen, after all), and we are not sick of it yet. If you’ve never brined a bird, you gotta try it. Juicy, flavorful, pretty… what’s not to love about it?

Icing the breast for an hour before roasting helped keep the white meat moist, a trick I’ll use next year for certain. I also did the bacon-on-the-breast-under-oil-soaked-cheesecloth, but not for the whole baking time. I roast using the Cook’s Illustrated method, with the breast down for the first 40 minutes of roasting, then flipping the bird (ahem) for the rest of the time (let me tell you, flinging a hot-n-heavy bird around using wooden spoons should be a new juggling style). Only one burn per person, and I feel like I got away lucky. The bacon and oilcloth were on for a couple of hours, and I pulled them off, basted with a bit of olive oil, and let the breast finish browning to a perfect bronze. I didn’t stuff the bird, just tucked a few chopped onions, carrots and celery sticks in there. Can you tell I’m proud of myself? My arm is sore from bending around to pat myself on the back. I know I’m setting myself up for a spectacular flame-out next year…

Here’s one photo that my daughter didn’t include on her photo set, and I really liked:

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Of course, my youngest wouldn’t touch a thing. He did give a big thumbs-up to my husband’s wonderful pumpkin pie, and he’s also made a significant dent on the stuffing these last few days. We’ll indoctrinate him into the ways of Thanksgiving soon enough…

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, too!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Thanksgiving debriefing

  1. Do you subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated? I heart it very much.

    This year they had an alternative to brining, that still uses salt but takes up a ton less space because there’s no bucket involved. And did you get the “icing the breast” trick from them? I saw it for the first time this year and am very impressed.

    Someday I’ll cook another turkey… (We’ve been going to other people’s dinner for a few years now.)

    (PS: I have turkey-flipping “forks”. Big wide things, super cheap, good for nothing else. Get you some!)

    • Oh, yes. CI got me started brining several years ago, and I’ll never go back. I did see the salt thing, but I wasn’t really willing to try a new method with a bird that I really didn’t want to mess up.

      We’ve subscribed to the paper form for years, and about a year ago, moved to the online version. LOVE it! Although I still drag out my paper copies now and again, I use the online version almost daily.

      I think I got the breast-icing idea from a fellow eGulleteer (http://www.egullet.com, an online literary-culinary society).

      Will keep an eye out for the forks. Great idea, and now post-holiday perhaps even on sale?

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