Let's Talk Turkey

It’s that time again.
I’m going shopping late evening tonight to get everything for next week.
Firstly - I will be buying the biggest frozen bird I can get as it is just as easy to cook a large one as a small one. However, no matter what size I get, it always suggests thawing it in the fridge for 2-3 days…HA! It is always still frozen like a rock. This year I intend to put it in the fridge on Saturday - but I bet is is still frozen solid come Wednesday night - so again I will be putting it in cold water in the sink.
Secondly - I learned a long time ago - put it in the oven and forget about it. No basting. No nothing. Comes out perfect everytime.
Thirdly - some great recipes for leftover turkey on the Butterball.com website…try the turkey tortellini soup!

and lastly - anybody got any other suggestion on interesting side dishes, leftover recipes, freezing leftover techniques, etc.?

(Can’t wait for the aftermath turkey sandwich with mayo, lettuce and lots of pepper! Best part of the holiday!)

For those who cook smaller turkeys, consult the latest Joy of Cooking for their unique High Heat Method… you cook the turkey on its side (leg up) switching sides every half hour. The best part is it only takes about 2 hours! I used this method last year and people were seriously raving about my turkey. The breast meat doesn’t get dry because it is shielded from the direct heat of the element.

I don’t suggest it for a turkey over 12 lbs. The switching part is a bit of a job.

Use the carcass to make turkey soup and you’ll have broth in the freezer to last you months and months!

We usually smoke the turkey on the Weber Grill using apple wood. The dark meat on the legs and thigs makes great soup. No real interesting side dishes but we do make dinner rolls from scratch as well as fresh cranberry relish. Man I’m gettin’ hungry already.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the following Friday morning, known since my childhood as “Pie day” because when we’d have pie for breakfast. My wife thought I was more than slightly touched when I suggested it our first Thanksgiving. Now it’s tradition in our family as well.

I’m dying to try Alton Brown’s brining method for turkey, (check foodtv.com) but since I never host thanksgiving, I’ll never get to :frowning:

Side dishes, my family has traditionally had mashed turnips to go along with the potatoes. Huge job, cutting and slicing and you always seem to get a bitter one in there. Now… we use Southland frozen turnips, easy, easy, easy, and they taste good too.

My favorite appetizer is celery stuffed with olive/pimento cream cheese. Just cut up the pimentoed green olives, mix with cream cheese, and stuff celery stalks, yummy!

Slicing the turkey, I prefer to just cut the entire breast off in one piece then put it down and slice it into portions, much easier.

mmmmm, the leftover turkey sandwich…

We use the fried method for turkey since Thanksgiving moved to my parent’s house after my grandmother died several years ago. It started because there just wasn’t room in the kitchen, the oven part of the stove didn’t work well and was just easier.
It’s stayed because it makes a fantastic turkey, there are almost no leftovers to deal with and it remains quick and saves on kitchen space.

Hello Again, that gets my vote too. I have tried many roasting methods over the years with so-so results. The “hi heat” method consistently turns out delicious results.

I like to simmer the carcass for stock. I pull the leftover meat off the bones and make tetrazzini (or as they say here “chicken spaghetti”)

I really have nothing to add, I just wanted to say…

Mmmmmmm…Yummy, crispy, turkey skin. :slight_smile:

Istanbul can be very beautiful this time of year, especially if…

Oh wait, whoops.

I use the Reynold’s brand cooking bags every year and the turkey comes out great, nice and moist, with crispy skin. It also shaves about 30-45 minutes off the cooking time. I never stuff my turkey, either.

I also want to try Alton Brown’s brining recipe, but I’m not sure how it will go with the cooking bag method.

I dump some onions and celery in the bag, and some flour. For the turkey, in the turkey cavities, I add some finely minced onion, fresh rosemary, butter (not margarine), fresh garlic, salt and fresh-cracked black pepper. Then I oil the turkey skin all over, slip it in the bag (don’t truss it) and follow the directions on the box. Never had one fail me yet.
Be sure to get the “Turkey” size.

I brine my turkey every year. I also buy fresh turkeys, the never been frozen ones. Last year Mr. Athena liked it so much that this year he pretty much told my mother that I had to make the turkey. Nobody else is allowed. So this year I get to make turkey for 16, whoohooo!

I’m brining also, and slow-cooking on the outdoor grill with lots of damp hickory chunks. Smoked turkey is delicious, and frees up the oven for pie-making and roasting the vegetables.

We’re getting a free one from TOPS grocery store-you must accrue 350 points (dollars spent) for 2 months to qualify.
We did!
Now we have to find someone with a working oven to make it for us…

was Constantinople…

I’ve got a 12lb fresh bird on order, and will probably by a couple of frozen 20lb birds when the stores have them cheap.
We will do the fresh bird for T-day, I’m gonna brime, then smoke it outside probably with apple wood.

I also saw a recipe for what was called a great pumpkin. Picture a pumpkin filled with stuffing and cooked. Said to be a old indian method. Might try that to go with the bird…

Well, if any of y’all need someplace to put your leftovers, think of po po college students such as myself. I already warned my mom that I’m coming home for Thanksgiving with an empty cooler. Hopefully I’ll return to school with it filled!

I’m doing my first bird this year. Earlier this year, I mocked-up the salt crust method on a whole turkey breast by just getting the bird wet and caking on as much sea salt as possible. It turned out great, so I think I’m going to try that with the whole bird.

I’m also making a stuffing that involves craisins, toasted hazelnuts, sweet Italian sausage, and lots of butter.

I’m making a cheese fondue for appetizer, and may do yams, mashed potatoes, or green beans. I’m relying on guests to bring salad and dessert.

The leftover turkey sandwiches are the BEST! They must be made on thick white bread, with stuffing, jellied cranberry sauce, creamcheese, and possibly some stuffing if you can get it in there around the turkey. I think I enjoy that more than the actual dinner.

Oh hell… my parents bought one of those electric roasters and made a ‘practice turkey’ tonight as ‘cat food’ to test it out. I got home from work and the whole house smelled of turkey and I managed to find one of the cans of cranberry sauce my mum had hidden in the laundry room. I ate a leg and then was picking the carcass after they cut most of the meat off the bones and put it away.

I could never be a vegetarian.

Wow, that’s some tasty cooking for Thanksgiving. I’m drooling, believe me. This year will find our family and friends at a local country inn for the holiday, which is almost as good as home, plus, no dishes and garbage to worry about! (Also, this means I get to order what I want for Thanksgiving without people pushing food on me.)

I got my turkey tonight, an 11 lb. Butterball. Look forward to cooking it.

Anyhow this is on the menu this year:

Stuffing (starting with a box but adding ingredients)
Mashed Potatoes with real cream and butter
Cream of Broccoli soup
Green Beans (just cooked, nothing fancy there)
Cranberry/orange relish (homemade)
Cheddar Cheese biscuits (like Red Lobster’s)
Mini cheesecake cups for dessert! (My favorite dessert since I rarely eat dessert, it’s a good one.)

Here’s the Cream of Broccoli Soup recipe:

Cream of Broccoli soup

4 cups chopped yellow onions, about 4 large onions
1 stick of butter
2 quarts of chicken stock, completely defatted
2 lbs broccoli
1/2 - 3/4 cup heavy cream
fresh ground black pepper

Melt butter and simmer onions until very soft, about 25 minutes

Add chicken stock and bring to a boil

Trim broccoli and break into small pieces or chop, reserve about 1 cup of broccoli, place the rest of the broccoli in stock and simmer for 45 minutes. Puree the mixture. Return to pot and add the remainder of broccoli and simmer until they are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add cream and pepper and salt to taste.

(I forget what to do with the remaining broccoli, but wing it, have fun with it.)

Nothing like a good creamy soup to help complete the meal.

Man, I am starving!!!

I’m making Oyster stuffing.
I’m drooling just thinking about it.