Our turkey rocked!
To briefly recap, we prepared a brine for a twelve-pound turkey the day before Thanksgiving. The bird soaked in the salt/sugar mixture for about twelve hours. About two and a half hours before roasting, we melted together butter, olive oil, herbes de Provence, chopped fresh oregano (brujo), rosemary, and thyme and salt and pepper in a saucepan. This fat was rubbed between the breast and skin, and all over the turkey’s skin to allow it to crisp. Wedged oranges, lemons, onions and herbs were stuffed in the cavity to continue infusing flavor to the meat from the inside.
For the first half hour, the turkey roasted uncovered in a 500 F°. Afterwards, we removed it from the oven, inserted a digital thermometer probe, and covered the breast with aluminum foil. With the temperature lowered to 350 F°, it took close to an hour for the bird to reach an internal temperature reading of 161 F°. A half hour resting period later, voilá:
The Thanksgiving meal was rounded out with an oven-baked rice pilaf with chickpeas, chorizo, bacon and red peppers, creamed corn soufflé, and a simple green salad (all lovingly prepared by my Mamá). For dessert we enjoyed a pumpkin flan with a pecan praline garnish. Superstitious me lucked out: the Saints won over the Cowboys by just three points. I was inhaling those pralines I set aside for snacking during that third quarter.