By: Revanche

Catching up and Cookery Sunday: Thanksgiving Turkey Edition

March 4, 2012

The week didn’t start off as planned, my brain’s been a traitor and I keep having feelings, so I’ve been seeking asylum in food. It’s not quite so bad as eating to cope or anything like that. I just need an outlet whereby my brain can stop thinking on what it keeps focusing on. Thankfully, the internet in the form of creative cooking Twitter and blogger friends have been sharing some delightful food tidbits and I have been paying attention!

Also I cheated and bought premarinated bulgogi for dinner. It was expensive at $10 for 1.25 pounds but it was cheaper than going out, made two meals over two nights and was really fast prep. Sometimes cheaters don’t lose sleep at night over the cheating because it saved some time better spent on sleeping.

I did finally bite the bullet and order some shoes to try on, though, after hemming and hawing all week long. I hate shoe shopping and I hate wasting money but torturing myself with blisters and calluses is just plain stupid. With any luck, at least a couple pairs will be good and last several years.

Posts for Perusal

I’ve a hankering to try Frugal Scholar’s braised lamb shoulder. It just sounds fantastic. But the price of lamb at Trader Joe’s- $17.99/lb– had my already wobbly knees buckling. I didn’t try looking further.

SP is conducting a More Money, More Comfort, More Time? experiment with her shoes. Coincidentally my happy new flats from Aldo several months ago have also crapped out on me far earlier than I would have liked. They aren’t destroyed but they are now destroying my feet.  And with my new resolution to walk 2-3 times a week when the weather’s friendlier, I simply need to admit that adding the gel inserts and gritting my teeth through the weekly blisters is actually not a solution.

Nicole and Maggie reprise “You’re So Vain” in Some folks are easily offended.  Not everything is about you. I operate on the philosophy that very little is. If anything your feelings should be hurt about that. [tongue in cheek]

Well Heeled has conquered three business schools’s admissions offices but was tricked by the fine print on her financial aid offer letter. What have you got to ‘fess up to?

A Recipe

I’m feeling reminiscent of (craving) the awesome Thanksgiving Turkey I made, with a slight variation from this L.A. Times brining recipe. ie: I didn’t realize I should brine it overnight much less for three DAYs so it was brined for about three hours. Still delicious.

Served: 14 pounds, 2 greedy-faces, up to 5 days.

Dry-brined turkey

Total time: 2 hours, 50 minutes, plus 3 days brining and drying time
Servings: 11 to 15

Note: This is more a technique than a recipe. It makes a bird that has concentrated turkey flavor and fine, firm flesh and that is delicious as it is. But you can add other flavors as you wish. Minced rosemary would be a nice finishing addition. Or brush the bird lightly with butter before roasting.

1 (12- to 16-pound) turkey

Kosher salt

1. Wash the turkey inside and out, pat it dry and weigh it. Measure 1 tablespoon of salt into a bowl for every 5 pounds the turkey weighs (for a 15-pound turkey, you’d have 3 tablespoons).

2. Sprinkle the inside of the turkey lightly with salt. Place the turkey on its back and salt the breasts, concentrating the salt in the center, where the meat is thickest. You’ll probably use a little more than a tablespoon. It should look liberally seasoned, but not over-salted.

3. Turn the turkey on one side and sprinkle the entire side with salt, concentrating on the thigh. You should use a little less than a tablespoon. Flip the turkey over and do the same with the opposite side.

4. Place the turkey in a 2½-gallon sealable plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly. Place the turkey breast-side up in the refrigerator. Chill for 3 days, turning it onto its breast for the last day.

5. Remove the turkey from the bag. There should be no salt visible on the surface, and the skin should be moist but not wet. Place the turkey breast-side up on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.

6. On the day it is to be cooked, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

7. Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; put it in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the turkey over so the breast is facing up (it’s easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts).

8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, return the turkey to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees, about 2¾ hours total roasting.

9. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a warm platter or carving board; tent loosely with foil. Let stand at least 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. Carve and serve.

6 Responses to “Catching up and Cookery Sunday: Thanksgiving Turkey Edition”

  1. Yay food! I spent $350 at Whole Foods yesterday and am as happy as a clam. It’s nice to have something to munch on besides the two types of apples and two types of pears from our local grocery store. Yay fruit! And nitrate free meats. And organic ice cream (yay for coolers and ice to get things home). And fancy (pasteurized hard) cheeses. And wheat free junk food. Our freezer, fridge, and pantries are stuffed. Variety is the spice of food happiness.

    Comfy shoes: very important.

    Thanks for the link!

  2. Whoa that lamb is expensive! My son got it at the Ag School store at his college and my daughter’s friend got some from a farm where he worked.

    I think leg is around $9/lb here and that’s the cut I’d use for a big meal and good leftovers.

  3. Correction: $250, not $350… but my happiness is at least that!

  4. SP says:

    Thanks for the link!

    I can say for certain the shoes were more comfy right out of the gate, and the sale price wasn’t too shocking (though probably significantly more than I’ve paid before). Did you get any new ones, or are you still limping around?

    Spending on good food is an area I rarely try to cut on (grocery wise, at least)

  5. Caitlin says:

    Next time you are looking for lamb, try Costco. They do have amazing quality meats (you can even order Kobe beef there) for equally amazing price for the quality.

    Love your blog. You are one of the few bloggers from when I used to blog that is still around… I am always amazed by your strength and outlook.

  6. Revanche says:

    @nicoleandmaggie: ye gods good food… manna!

    @Frugal Scholar: oh I MISS being near an Ag Store. But then again, our old Ag Store did NOT sell produce type things very cheaply so I rarely went, I think it was only protein stuffs that went for cheaper.

    @SP: I’m still limping. I ordered some to try on because I simply have no time (or energy or patience) to go to the store.

    @Caitlin: I will have a look when we’re there next, I find that their beef prices aren’t great so I avoid the cases because it just makes me crave-y, but perhaps it’ll be worth it for the lamb.

    And welcome back! I still miss some of our old compatriots who have left the blogosphere…

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