View Full Version : What is your Thanksgiving meal of choice?



MadMonk
11-17-2005, 11:13 AM
I've had both turkey and ham and I've got to say that for me nothing beats a fat turkey cooked well. I like ham too, but generally, we stay with the traditional bird. Any unusual meals? I once had rib-eye steaks. I like - no, make that love - a good steak but that just didn't seem like Thanksgiving.

Faith
11-17-2005, 01:10 PM
Definitely a good cooked juicy turkey for me!

Karried
11-17-2005, 01:28 PM
I swear by this - Brine your turkey - it is the easiest way to ensure a juicy moist delicious turkey..

Use a fresh turkey (no injected sodium) kosher salt, garlic and water, all in a cooking/roasting bag for at least 24 hours ( I used an ice chest filled with ice and left it outside overnight - I did two turkeys - rave reviews) - let it air dry and roast as usual - you won't believe the tenderness.

PUGalicious
11-17-2005, 01:36 PM
My brother introduced me to brining my turkey and I'll never do it another way again. It's incredible how juicy and tasty it can be (especially if you add extra spices to the brine).

Also, try cooking your turkey upside down. All the juices drain toward the best parts of the turkey. It doesn't look pretty when serving it as a centerpiece, but it sure makes a difference in taste.

Man, you all are making me hungry!

MadMonk
11-17-2005, 02:10 PM
I've never had brined turkey but, if its as good as you all make it out to be, its definitely something I'd like to try. I've had the deep-fried turkey though and it was quite tasty.

Faith
11-17-2005, 02:13 PM
What is brining? Is it just marinating it for 24 hours in seasoning before you cook it? Do you cook it in the oven or in a turkey fryer???

PUGalicious
11-17-2005, 02:33 PM
Karried provided this concise explanation:


Use a fresh turkey (no injected sodium) kosher salt, garlic and water, all in a cooking/roasting bag for at least 24 hours ( I used an ice chest filled with ice and left it outside overnight - I did two turkeys - rave reviews) - let it air dry and roast as usual - you won't believe the tenderness.

MadMonk
11-17-2005, 02:36 PM
What is brining? Is it just marinating it for 24 hours in seasoning before you cook it? Do you cook it in the oven or in a turkey fryer???
Brining is soaking the turkey in a salt and water solution. Other hebs and spices are usually added.

This is from Hormel's website and explains how brining works:
"The brining process breaks down and extracts some of the proteins from the meat, allowing liquid to be absorbed into the turkey. When the turkey is cooked, the proteins coagulate, preventing the liquid from escaping."

They go on to warn that you should NOT brine turkey that has been "pre-basted" (as many frozen turkeys are) because this will result in a soggy turkey. Blech. :)

Karried
11-17-2005, 03:23 PM
There are tons online but here is a quick guide:

Brining Turkey

From Derrick Riches,Your Guide to Barbecues & Grilling.

No matter how you cook it, a brine will make it better

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best way to get great poultry, no matter how you cook it is to start with a brine. Brining adds moisture and flavor to poultry that will keep it from drying out and just make it better. A turkey can be a serious investment in time so you want to make sure it is perfect, especially if you have a large gathering waiting on it. Whether you grill, smoke, fry or roast your turkey, you really need to use a brined bird.



To properly brine a turkey you need to start the night before you plan to cook. You will need 10 to 12 hours (or more), a container large enough to hold your turkey and enough brine to cover it, salt, water, seasonings and enough room to refrigerate it all. A good container would be a large stock pot or even a 5 gallon, clean plastic bucket. Whatever container you choose the turkey needs to have enough room to be turned so it should be big.

Now you want to get to the turkey. The turkey you brine should be cleaned out, completely thawed and not be a self-basting or Kosher turkey. Self-basting and Kosher turkeys have a salty stock added that will make your brined turkey too salty. A fresh turkey works best, but a completely thawed, frozen turkey will work almost as well.

To make the brine mix 1 cup of salt in 1 gallon of water. You will most likely need more than 1 gallon of water but thatís the ratio to aim for. Another way to tell if you have enough salt in your brine is that a raw egg will float in it. Make sure that the salt is completely dissolved. You can now add whatever seasonings you like to the brine, but donít add anything that has salt. Brines can be spicy hot with peppers and cayenne, or savory with herbs and garlic, or sweet with molasses, honey or brown sugar. You can find a large number of recipes on my site.

Now you want to put the turkey in your container and pour in enough brine to completely cover the turkey with an inch or two to spare. You do not want any part of the turkey above the surface of the brine. Now you put the whole thing in the refrigerator. If you are like me, making enough room in the fridge is the hardest part of this project. The turkey should sit in the brine for at least 10 hours. You can go as much as 24 hours but for the most part the turkey will have absorbed all the brine it needs in 10 hours. Brining for too long can ruin the flavor. If you are using a small turkey cut down on the brining time or reduce the amount of salt in the brine. When you are ready to start cooking your turkey, remove it from the brine and rinse it off in the sink with cold water until all traces of salt are off the surface. From here you are all done with the brine. Safely discard the brine and cook your turkey as normal. You will notice the second you start to carve your turkey that the brining has helped it retain moisture. The first bite will sell you on brining turkeys forever and after youíve tried this you will want to brine all your poultry.

Faith
11-17-2005, 04:02 PM
Thanks Karried and Madmonk. I guess I could have looked it up on the website.
I might try this next week and see how it works!

Faith
11-17-2005, 04:04 PM
Karried provided this concise explanation:


Thanks Scribe for the clarification that Karried provided the explanation in her post. I was wanting more information on the brining process itself, more like what MadMonk provided. I could have just looked it up on the internet but didn't think to do that.

mranderson
11-22-2005, 05:42 PM
What do you think of Turducken?

kellekokid
11-23-2005, 01:42 AM
What do you think of Turducken?

I saw Paula Dean fixing this on Food Network and it just looked way to weird and way way too much trouble!

Ronin
11-27-2005, 02:19 AM
I've had both turkey and ham and I've got to say that for me nothing beats a fat turkey cooked well. I like ham too, but generally, we stay with the traditional bird. Any unusual meals? I once had rib-eye steaks. I like - no, make that love - a good steak but that just didn't seem like Thanksgiving.

Im not a ham fan at all. I love steak, but as you said it just doesnt feel right to eat that! :)

I like the old fashioned turkey myself.. I love it with a huge bowl of baked vegies.
Which leads me to thinking... what do vegetarians eat at Thanksgiving? :stars: