Archive for the ‘Turkey’ Category

Roast Turkey

This was the very first time I had brined a turkey. I did cut back the salt and sugar by 1/3 because I had a turkey that was already injected (as most turkeys are). It turned out well, but maybe it could have been even better? Next time I will be more daring. I brined it in the fridge using a roasting bag. It worked out well.

Alton Brown’s Roast Turkey (foodnetwork.com)


1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water
For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil
2 to 3 days before roasting:


Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 151 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.


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We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year and had 3 people over for dinner. It was lots of fun and I think the food turned out really well. I made some recipes that will be making a repeat for sure.

Here was the menu:
Alton Brown’s Roast Turkey (first time brining)
Giblet Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Chipolte Sweet Potatoes
Leek & Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Veggie Casserole (family recipe)
Pumpkin Pie (crust)

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Turkey and Broccoli Casserole

My MIL makes an awesome Chicken and Broccoli casserole, so I asked her for the recipe. I made a couple modifications to it so its a bit different then hers, but I think thats a good thing. I don’t think I could ever make it exactly like she does, so we’ll just have to visit more often to have the real deal.

Turkey and Broccoli Casserole

2 10 oz packages frozen broccoli cooked and drained/ or fresh steamed
2 or more cups of cooked turkey (or chicken)
2 can cream of broccoli soup undiluted
2/3 cup sour cream (you can use mayo, but I detest it)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (I skipped this since I used sour cream, but add if you use mayo)
1 teaspoon curry (add more to taste)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or more

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place broccoli in the shallow baking pan, cover with chicken. Combine in a
bowl soup, mayo lemon and curry, mix together. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (until bubbly).

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This was quite good, but the texture of the squash with the rice can be a bit strange. Chris loved it 🙂

Acorn Squash with Brown Rice and Turkey Sausage (Adapted from Culinary in the Desert)

2 acorn squash, each cut crosswise in half and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
2 cups cooked brown rice

Spray a large microwave-safe plate with nonstick spray – place squash halves, cut side down, on the plate. Place in the microwave and cook on high until fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let sit until cool enough to work with.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, stirring to break up the sausage, until browned. Remove the sausage and place in a large bowl. In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium and add the onions, red bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until tender and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the mixture to the bowl with the sausage.

Scoop out squash, leaving a 1/4″ thick shell. Add the squash to the bowl with sausage mixture – add the rice and parsley, mixing until well combined. Evenly divide the sausage mixture between the squash shells. Serve warm!

Makes 4 servings (maybe a bit more!)

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