Author Topic: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?  (Read 15796 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #120 on: November 09, 2013, 10:58:32 AM »
We did what the experts say you should never do.  We let it thaw on the counter, in a basin to catch the juices, if the plastic is damaged.  But keep in mind that the ambient temperature is closer to 60 F so it is still cool.  We'd never gotten food poisoning in over 35 years of doing it this way.

Now, most of the time, we are going up to my brother's place but my Dad usually brings the turkey.  We take it up in a cooler with no ice packs and then the night before, we leave the lid of the cooler open.  It is usually just a little bit frozen that we have trouble getting the neck out but then it cooks up fine, with the stuffing inside.  I hate when we have to run water through it because that just spreads the bacteria all over if it splashes outside the sink.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

Doll Fiend

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #121 on: November 09, 2013, 11:22:03 AM »
Alton Brown actually does several turkey episodes.
Romancing the Bird S1E14 Brined Turkey
Behind the Bird S3E14 Brined Turkey Leftovers
Fry Turkey Fry S10E12 Fried Turkey Safety
Twas the Night Before Good Eats S13E21 Duck but similar technique (And sides)
Alton's Countdown to T-Day (Re-romancing the bird) S14E24 Not only a third Turkey style that is not brined but talks about timing the turkey and sides/desserts.

I hope this helps. I just had to share since I am such a huge AB Fan and wanted to help as well. :D

sparksals

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #122 on: November 09, 2013, 01:14:06 PM »

One thing to remember for turkey, too - you should always let the turkey rest for at least 10 minutes after removing it from the oven, but before carving it. After you take roasts off the heat (or steak, for that matter), the juices get reabsorbed into the meat and the temperature rises by several degrees. If you cut them immediately, the juices can run out, and the meat gets dry.

I saw the Alton brown turkey episode - it might be a lovely recipe, but I was aghast at a turkey method that produced neither stuffing nor gravy, because as far as I'm concerned the main purpose of a turkey is to produce stuffing, gravy and turkey stock (plus some nice crispy skin). That's why I don't brine - it means you can't use the pan juices for gravy, or stuff the turkey, without it getting too salty.

I don't know if this is personal preference, but 10 minutes to stand a turkey isn't enough, especially a larger turkey.  They need at the very least 30 minutes.

Dindrane

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #123 on: November 09, 2013, 01:37:11 PM »
Quote
That's why I don't brine - it means you can't use the pan juices for gravy, or stuff the turkey, without it getting too salty.

Is this true?

I haven't found this to be the case.  When we brined the year before last the turkey drippings were perfectly fine.

I haven't either, although I never put stuffing in the turkey itself. The biggest reason is because I prefer my stuffing crisped up in the oven, so I make it on the stove and then put it in a casserole to get browned in the oven.

Aside from that, I don't want to have to worry about giving myself food poisoning because I didn't get the stuffing to the right temperature, or overcooking the turkey in an attempt to avoid food poisoning. And I'd rather put aromatics in the turkey.


TootsNYC

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #124 on: November 09, 2013, 04:15:00 PM »
Alton Brown actually does several turkey episodes.
Romancing the Bird S1E14 Brined Turkey
Behind the Bird S3E14 Brined Turkey Leftovers
Fry Turkey Fry S10E12 Fried Turkey Safety
Twas the Night Before Good Eats S13E21 Duck but similar technique (And sides)
Alton's Countdown to T-Day (Re-romancing the bird) S14E24 Not only a third Turkey style that is not brined but talks about timing the turkey and sides/desserts.

I hope this helps. I just had to share since I am such a huge AB Fan and wanted to help as well. :D

Thanks!

I had never really focused on him until this thread, and he's fun!


I'm loving the "30 minutes of standing" thing--I'm not a fan of reheating vegetables; I feel like potatoes get dried out and other stuff gets overcooked.


I do have a convection microwave, but I don't want to put  the turkey in there--it's over the stove!

Venus193

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #125 on: November 09, 2013, 06:30:01 PM »
In my experience, if the turkey is standing more than 10 minutes it's cold by the time it's carved.  I hate eating anything cold that is meant to be eaten hot.

sparksals

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #126 on: November 09, 2013, 07:10:32 PM »
There are a lot of dishes you can do ahead that reheat very well. Google Elsie's mashed potatoes best of bridge.   They are meant to do ahead.  You can even freeze them and they turn out well.  People will rave about your mashed. 

Plain veggies you don't have to do ahead.  Steam on microwave.  If you are doing more involved side dishes there are many you can do ahead and reheat and ppl will never be the wiser. 

TootsNYC

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #127 on: November 09, 2013, 07:17:55 PM »
There's a shredded brussels sprouts recipe that's done on the stovetop--that would probably work. If I had a pressure cooker, I could make riced potatoes!

POF

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #128 on: November 09, 2013, 09:50:54 PM »
I always do my Brussels on the stove.   Just bought a big stalk atthe farm store today.

I slice mine in 1/2, sometimes into thirds and this can be done the day before. 

I fry up a bit of bacon, drain off al but 2 TBSP of drippings.  I saute them in the drippings and add a pinch of sugar, salt / pepper and about 2 TBSP of H20.  I like to cook mine until a bit brown on the bottom, flip and cook quickly on the other side. 

I also make a nice green bean / waxed bean dish for XMAS - Again I start with bacon ( yes - I did have a problem with salty cured meats ) .  I boil / blanch green beans and wax bean until crispy. = I then add them to the bacon drippings with some sliced in half cherry tomatoes. I add a sprinkle of brown sugar, a shake or two of hot pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.  I then tops with some toasted bread crumbs right before serving ( and the crumbled bacon.

 I blanch the beans the day before, I cook the bacon, crumble and save the drippings.  I put some PANKO on a dry non stick skillet and toast up brown. I ven slice up the tomatoes.

I'll throw the bacon drippings on the stove ( in a pan ! ) , add the beans and tomatoes and let them heat up, mix in the bacon and add crumbs.  it takes 5 minutes on XMAS day.   Its a nice alternative to green bean casserole.


Hmmmmm

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #129 on: November 09, 2013, 09:58:02 PM »
In my experience, if the turkey is standing more than 10 minutes it's cold by the time it's carved.  I hate eating anything cold that is meant to be eaten hot.
You must have a cool home. I find that if we cover with foil but leave in the roasting pan it stays really warm for a good 30 minutes. But we don't wasn't to carve a steaming bird. I remember my dad saying that any steam coming out when carving is moisture leaving your bird.

sparksals

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #130 on: November 10, 2013, 07:07:13 PM »
In my experience, if the turkey is standing more than 10 minutes it's cold by the time it's carved.  I hate eating anything cold that is meant to be eaten hot.
You must have a cool home. I find that if we cover with foil but leave in the roasting pan it stays really warm for a good 30 minutes. But we don't wasn't to carve a steaming bird. I remember my dad saying that any steam coming out when carving is moisture leaving your bird.


Very true.  Covering tightly with foil works like a charm.  Also agree about moisture leaving the bird. 

TootsNYC

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #131 on: November 10, 2013, 07:17:51 PM »
Well, I practiced with a chicken.

And ended up undercooking, then overcooking, it. I packed the cavity too tightly w/ the aromatic veggies, and the juice that ran out of the cavity was pink when the 165-degree thermometer went off.

So I cooked it longer.

The gravy was sort of bland--but on thinking about it, I didn't really salt or pepper, no bay leaf, no wine for deglazing, etc.

So I'm going to tackle it again next week. And meanwhile, we have chicken for omelettes/rice/etc., and I can use the bones to make my own stock. (My aunt suggested using canned stock as the water when I do so, in order to end up w/ a more concentrated stock.)

kckgirl

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #132 on: November 11, 2013, 10:14:59 AM »
Re: the thawing of the turkey:

It is only in the last 2 years that I have started to see advice that says, "It can take DAYS for your turkey to thaw in the refrigerator." One of the times I made turkey, everything I found said "move it to the fridge the night before."

I usually buy my frozen turkey on Saturday or Sunday and leave it in the fridge until Thanksgiving morning. I should move it back to Thursday or Friday the week before, because it is usually still frozen in the center after thawing for four or five days.
Maryland

TootsNYC

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #133 on: November 11, 2013, 10:28:37 AM »
Re: the thawing of the turkey:

It is only in the last 2 years that I have started to see advice that says, "It can take DAYS for your turkey to thaw in the refrigerator." One of the times I made turkey, everything I found said "move it to the fridge the night before."


Yeah, right? Most places I've seen lately say 3.5 to 4.5 days--but honestly I think people should be warned--give it a week.
I usually buy my frozen turkey on Saturday or Sunday and leave it in the fridge until Thanksgiving morning. I should move it back to Thursday or Friday the week before, because it is usually still frozen in the center after thawing for four or five days.

lowspark

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #134 on: November 11, 2013, 10:39:49 AM »
Defrosting a reasonably sized turkey takes a minimum of four days in my experience. And if it's over 15 lbs or so, I'd give it five days minimum. Even with this amount of time in the fridge, my turkeys always still have chunks of ice embedded in the cavities so it's not too long. The chunks of ice are fine as the turkey is mostly defrosted and by the time I wash it off and get the organs out of the cavity and get the whole thing ready to go into the oven, it's all at a pretty good state, ready to cook.