For as far back as I can remember I’ve always picked up a Butterball turkey for Thanksgiving. Simple, cheap, and frankly turkey roasting is hard to screw up. For the past 10 years or so I’ve brined said turkey. I think it’s been a bit superfluous, as Butterball’s come infused with a “sodium solution” or some such adulterant. However, today I was at Costco and scored a Foster Farms fresh turkey. Almost 25 lbs, and less than $20!
So this year the brining will be of utmost importance. I’ve heard good things about Alton Brown’s recipe, but the first recipe I ever came across (I was channel surfing one day and came across someone on the Food network pontificating about brining) used apple juice, not vegetable stock. They also added a bottle of white wine, but I forget what particular type. So this year I think I’ll use Alton’s recipe but with apple cider or juice instead instead of veggie stock and water. Using molasses instead of brown sugar might be good also. I don’t want to experiment too much though, this is going to feed a bunch of people who wouldn’t know good food if Michelin sent them a free guide yet, for some inane reason, still feel obligated to criticize other people’s cooking.
Roasting is easy, I’ll just do it in the oven. I’ve always wanted to try smoking a turkey, but since I lack a smoker, well… guess I’ll have to wait. I’ve also heard good things about turkey cooked on a grill, and though I have one big enough I think I’ll wait until a non-holiday to try that one out. So oven roasting it is
I’ll use the pan drippings to make up a nice gravy. I always start with a roux and my gravy comes out thin. My wife likes it that way, I prefer thick gravy. Maybe I’ll try the corn starch method this year instead.
I’ve cooked cranberry sauce in the past, using sugar, water, and cranberries with a bit of citrus zest and some cinnamon. Good, but I know I can do better. Again, maybe using apple cider (or a high-pulp orange juice?) as the liquid is a good way to start.
So, what are you cooking this year? And is smoked turkey really all that? Should I invest in a Weber Smokey Mountain for next year?