Fabulous Thanksgiving Turkey

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Here’s a picture of the turkey from Thanksgiving taken by my FriendWhoCallsMeMartha. I’m very fond of cooking for large groups because it gives me a chance to try new dishes. I go with a CYA approach which involves cooking enormous numbers of recipes so that if one of them doesn’t work no one goes hungry. In this case I think there were 10 things on the table for 10 people… maybe overkill but everyone looked blissful at the end, and I didn’t have to pull my hair out over the soggy weird polenta sticks.

I was very proud of the turkey, I brined it following my bizarre practice of finding 2 similar recipes (in this case I tapped Alton Brown and Cooks Illustrated) and morphing them into a mutant fusion, creating something totally, completely (well sort of) my own. I bought a funky little ceramic trash can labelled ‘RUBBISH’ for the brining because I didn’t have anything big enough and also because I thought it was cute.

I’ll share my recipe because it took me a long time to come up with, so maybe one of you can profit from my research.

The recipe kinda went like this (for a 20 pound turkey).

  1. Clean out the turkey inside and out, stick it in the RUBBISH can</p>
    • Make 2 gallons of brine
      1. 3 cups kosher salt
        • 1 cup dark brown sugar
          • 2 gallons water
            • 1-1/2 cups apple juice (the actual recipe wanted frozen orange juice but I didn’t have any)
              • turkey
                • ice to fill the container </ol>
                  • Brine for 6 hours
                    • Dry completely and place in the refrigerator on a drying rack stuck inside of a cookie sheet (uncovered) – this gives you an incredibly crisp skin
                      • Cook it on its back for an hour at 425 degrees
                        • Turn the oven down to 350, turn the turkey over
                          • Stuff turkey with superheated stuffing because… if you cook a turkey with stuffing it means you have to increase the time, leading to dry meat. Who wants dry meat? If you superheat the stuffing and add it after the turkey is already partly done, you minimize the impact on the turkey and still get yummy turkey-flavored stuffing.
                            • Cook until it’s safe turkey temperature according to my digital thermometer
                              • Let it rest for an hour because the turkey carving guy wasn’t here yet </ol>

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