I love Thanksgiving. It is one of those holidays for which we still don’t have a definite tradition, so I don’t feel saddled to a pre-determined agenda of where to go and what to eat. I’ve hosted, traveled, or just showed up someplace with a side dish/dessert and a smile. This year, I’ll be going over to my parents’ with the turkey (ready to be roasted), homemade cranberry sauce, and the ingredients to make pan-dripping gravy. I’ll also be taking some pecan pralines I made this evening as good luck token for my beloved Saints.
For the last few days, most food programming in TV has focused on how to cook the perfect turkey. For our first Thanksgiving hosting three years ago, DH (TurkeyMaster extraordinaire) meshed together a couple of recipes we saw on television as to seasonings and preparation/roasting methods to come up with our own version. I’m glad to report that not much has changed from that first time – technique wise – per the experts, so this approach should still produce a moist and tasty bird. The steps include brining, preparing butter-based herb rub, roasting, and resting. Today we brined the turkey; we prepared the solution in the morning to allow it to cool while we’re at work. The liquid brine is based on the first Good Eats turkey episode, down to the orange Home Depot bucket.
DH mixes together the brine ingredients until fully incorporated
Our brew includes one gallon of water, one cup of salt, half a cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon or so of peppercorns, eight vegetable broth bouillon cubes and a heaping tablespoon of dried herbes de Provence. We brought it to a boil, and then turned off the burner. To prepare the turkey for soaking, we removed all the giblets from the insides and washed it thoroughly. The cooled brine went into the bucket, followed by the turkey and enough ice water to cover it. The copious amounts of salt in the brine should keep the turkey safe from harmful bacteria as it soaks up the flavor and moisture.
Keeping the turkey away from the reach of curious pets is just as important!
This is it until tomorrow morning, when we do the compound butter blend with more herbes de Provence and roast the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving 2010.