Last Year’s Turkey: Hoping to recreate the magic

So last year, I BBQ’d the turkey. It was ah-maze-ing. Truly. It was golden and juicy. Even the white meat was delicious (I’m a dark meat kinda girl but dang the whole bird was so good).

Of course, I didn’t document the recipe. So, I’m going to make one up/partially remember and jot it down. I hope it works as good this year as it did last year. I’ll let you know after Thanksgiving.

The Best BBQ'd Turkey

BBQ’d Turkey on a Gas Grill

  • 1 16-18 pound turkey (we use Mary’s heritage birds), giblets and neck and all the other strange stuff inside removed (save the neck and leftover carcass for stock)
  • Brining mix (I use Stonwall Kitchen’s Farmhouse Brine or Williams-Sonoma brine)
  • 2 quarts of water
  • Brining Bag
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1 bottle of chardonnay
  • handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 yellow onion cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 orange cut in half
  • 1/2 head of garlic (1 whole head cut in half across the cloves)
  • salt and pepper

2 days before Thanksgiving: Clean your bird and then put her in the brining bag then put the whole thing in a foil roasting pan. Heat 1 quart of your water in a big pot and add the brining mix. Let cool. Once cooled, add the brining mix, water and extra 1 quart of water to the brining bag/turkey. Refrigerate the whole thing for 24 hours.

The Day Before Thanksgiving: Take the turkey out of the brining bag and toss the brine. Rinse the bird quickly and dry with paper towels. Put a couple layers of paper towel in the foil roaster and then the bird – unwrapped- into the roaster. Place in fridge uncovered for 24 hours. This will dry out the skin and make it so it will be crispy when you roast it.

Thanksgiving Day: Remove the turkey from the fridge. Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity. Fill the cavity with the thyme, onion, orange and garlic. Tie up your bird so the legs and wings are held in tight to the bird. Add pea sized pieces of butter under the skin (use care doing this so you don’t break the skin). Salt and pepper the outside of the bird.

Put the bird, breast-side up, on a foil roasting pan and let her rest.

Heat remaining butter in a pot. Add Chardonnay and put 1/2 the mixture in the bottom of the roasting pan.

Getting Ready

Ignite the grill and turn all burners to high. Close the lid and preheat 10 to 15 minutes to bring the grill to 500 to 550 degrees. Set two side burners to medium heat and turn off the center burner. You’ll want to keep the bbq around 375 degrees. Position your turkey in the pan in the center of the cooking grate and place the lid on the grill. Try to keep the grill covered unless your basting it. I remember basting the turkey about 4 times. If you see the bottom of the pan getting dry, add more of your Chardonnay/butter mixture to the bird.

Cook 11 to 13 minutes per pound or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone registers 165 degrees and the juices run clear. Transfer turkey to a platter. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Happy Thanksgiving!!! xoxoxo
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Green Bean Casserole – another Thanksgiving staple

Casseroles seemed so nasty as a kid. It was a hodgepodge of veggies and some meat mixed with cream of something soup and then baked. But that actually sounds delicious. It is an easy one-pot meal that was a staple growing up. I’m not sure who thought up the green bean casserole as a side dish to Thanksgiving but it’s another necessity.

And to help save time on Turkey Day, make this the night before and store it in the refrigerator. Just leave off the onions until you are ready to pop it in the oven.

It also travels really well. So make extra and bring it to the in-laws.

Green Bean Casserole

  • 4 big handfuls of fresh green beans (sorry, I’ve never weighed it), ends trimmed
  • 1 lb of crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 3 TBS cream (not necessary but come on, it’s the holidays)
  • 1/4 cup or so of milk
  • 1 package of fried onions (6 to 8 oz)

Boil some water in a pot big enough to hold your green beans. Cook the green beans until just fork tender. Then blanch them in cold water to stop the cooking. Set them aside.

In a pan, melt the butter and oil. Add the shallots and mushrooms and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are just tender.

Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Then slowly add the cream then the milk. The mushrooms should be swimming in the scrumptiously rich sauce. Cook a bit more until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

Put the green beans in a casserole dish and pour the mushroom sauce over it. Give it a little stir and then shake the fried onions over the top.

Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Gobble, gobble.

Another post without photos – Pumpkin Pie

Ok, like I mentioned in the cranberry sauce post, I’m trying to get all my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving in here. And this is one of my favorite Pumpkin Pie recipes. WARNING: if you don’t like spicy pies, this recipe isn’t for you. There’s plenty of cinnamon and ginger to make your pumpkin (and your heart) sing the happy holiday song.

Seriously though, can we talk about how quickly Thanksgiving has come? You know what? Nevermind. I’m going to try a new approach to the holidays (no complaints). I’m already giving thanks for all our blessings, family and friends. Wow, I’m so full of love all of a sudden. What a difference a new outlook makes!

Ok, on to the most scrumptious pumpkin pie…Happy Thanksgiving! xoxoox

Spiced Pumpkin Pie (adapted from epicurious.com)

  • 2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 TBS light molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 pie crust (if you’re motivated pate sucree is a great pie dough but store bought is fine too)

Place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Whisk first 8 ingredients together in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in pumpkin, molasses and eggs, then the cream. Pour mixture into frozen pie crust or pre-baked homemade crust.

Place pie on preheated baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake until sides puff and center is just set (about 40 minutes). Cool and serve at room temp with fresh whipped cream. (pie can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated.)

Happy Turkey Day!!

(late edit) Adding a photo of munchkin making her first pumpkin pie:

stir, stir, stir

stir, stir, stir

IMG_3457

cook, cook, cook

 

No picture but the BEST cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving

Although the next few posts will be sans photos, they are my most favorite recipes for Thanksgiving. We’re having Thanksgiving in Hawaii this year (I know, poor babies). So, I thought: why not post all my favs here and refer to them when we get to Hawaii when the cooking commences?

Cranberry sauce was ALWAYS a side I avoided. It either came out of a can complete with the tin form rings or it was so tangy and bitter and unappealing that I never let it near my turkey or the other dearly loved sides. That was until last year when I found this recipe. I feel terrible that I don’t know where I found it. I know if was probably somewhere on tastespotting.com but that doesn’t mean much.

It’s a beautiful side and I LOVE it the next day on leftover rolls for breakfast. The hibiscus mellows out the tang and bitterness that often comes with fresh cranberries.

Try it this year. You will be stoked to welcome cranberries!

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup red wine, I used Pinot Noir
¼ cup water
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 clove
1 Tbsp. dried hibiscus leaves
1 Tsp. orange zest
1 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries
cheesecloth

Place hibiscus leaves and clove on a piece of cheesecloth and tie into a tight bundle. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine orange juice, red wine, water and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Add hibiscus clove bundle to the liquid and boil for two minutes.

Stir orange zest into mixture and add cranberries. Bring mixture back to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid reduces. Pour cranberry sauce into a mason jar and let cool uncovered.

Store in the fridge for up to a week before Thanksgiving.