Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ode to Thanksgiving: Pièce de résistance - Turkey!

And how can we describe a Thanksgiving meal without the centerpiece, the Pièce de résistance- the Turkey!!

We got our bird from FreshDirect, complete with a brining kit.  If you are a FreshDirect customer, you can find this recipe known as the "Two Hour Holiday Turkey."  If not, don't fret! Recipe below.

(notice the Aleia's stuffing in the background!!)

For the Turkey
1 Plainville Antibiotic-Free Butterflied Turkey, thawed
1 package FreshDirect Turkey Brining Blend
1 new, sealable plastic brining bag

Additional Equipment
Paper towels
Large sheet tray with rack
1 large sheet aluminum foil
Oven thermometer
Instant-read thermometer
Oven mitts/potholders


1. To brine your turkey, first make sure it's completely thawed, then remove any exterior packaging and rinse the bird under cold running water.

Mix the brining solution by stirring 1 lb brining blend into 1.5 gallons water. (See brining blend label for more detail.)

Put the turkey into the plastic bag and pour in enough brining solution to fully submerge it. Depending on the turkey's size, not all of the brine may be necessary. Press out any air bubbles, seal the bag and chill for 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator.

After brining, we recommend you rinse the turkey with cold running water, pat it dry with paper towels and chill it in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 2 to 6 hours. Drying promotes a crispy skin and is well worth the effort.

2. Preheat oven to 425°F. (Check temperature accuracy with an oven thermometer.)

Place the turkey breast-side up on a rack over a drip pan, making it as flat as possible. Turn the wings away and under, and turn the drumsticks away from the body to equalize the height.

Depending on the height of the roasting pan, you may pour in up to 1 cup of water to prevent the drippings from burning.

Rub a little oil on a large sheet of foil (to prevent sticking) and loosely cover the turkey. Poke a few small holes in the foil to vent steam.

3. Place the prepared turkey on the center-most rack of your oven. After one hour, if the turkey looks lightly golden, remove foil cover; if the skin looks very dark, leave the foil in place.

Check temperature in the breast (avoid contact with the ribs) with an instant-read thermometer. When breast temperature reaches 160 to 165°F, remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a platter or a sterilized cutting board. Cover lightly with aluminum foil to retain heat.

To complete cooking and maximize juiciness, allow the turkey to rest for approximately 30 minutes before carving and serving.

1 comment: