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View Full Version : Pre-Thanksgiving: Cooking a Turkey


Sven
11-17-2008, 02:30 PM
(Thanks to the PETA Cooking Mama thread for reminding me of this one)

No, not looking for advice - think of this as a public service to our American cousins who may have to endure cooking the family meal this this year.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html <- the Good Eats Turkey recipe. Yes, if you like stuffing this won't work for you, but trust me when I say it's the best possible way to roast a turkey (or a chicken, for that matter).

Follow-up with your own stuff. But I'm not giving away my mom's variant on Butternut Squash Bread Pudding. Some things are sacred, man.

Brickroad
11-17-2008, 02:32 PM
I'm-a make a homemade punkin pie.

But first I gotta find a good recipe. And a punkin.

sraymonds
11-17-2008, 02:33 PM
That Good Eats recipe looks so good.

TheSL
11-17-2008, 02:34 PM
I think I'm just going to take my turkey down the street and get it smoked at the local BBQ place for $15. The one time I cooked a turkey it was entirely too much work.

Sven
11-17-2008, 02:43 PM
I think I'm just going to take my turkey down the street and get it smoked at the local BBQ place for $15. The one time I cooked a turkey it was entirely too much work.

Yeah, there's certainly ways to overcomplicate things (and smoked turkey is VERY good - I did a small one last year when Mom was out of town (... shopping in Florida...) and I had my annual US Thanksgiving weekend get-together.) But, fundamentally, roasting a bird of any sort is basically idiot-proof if you do it right (read: brine and don't stuff)

FWIW, that picture isn't from Good Eats. The episode was like ten years ago, and I doubt Food Network had the resources to mock up that nice an image. :)

ringworm
11-17-2008, 02:44 PM
That Good Eats recipe looks so good.
They always do...they always do.

Zef
11-17-2008, 03:02 PM
I wasn't aware that people would typically deep-fry frozen turkeys, not until last week, when a friend told me all about this trend.

All I can ask is... why (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqemKVTf_38)?

Sven
11-17-2008, 03:05 PM
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/deep-fried-turkey-recipe/index.html <- AB, predictably, has you covered, although the actual episode was filled with enough "DON'T DO THIS OR YOU WILL DIE HORRIBLY!" warnings from him that I'm personally never going to try it.

I think there's also a Mythbusters episode dealing with this.

Violentvixen
11-17-2008, 03:20 PM
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html <- the Good Eats Turkey recipe. Yes, if you like stuffing this won't work for you, but trust me when I say it's the best possible way to roast a turkey (or a chicken, for that matter).

I've used this recipe for the past three years and I'm never going back. It's actually really easy to do (brining isn't hard, just throw the turkey in a cooler filled with the brine, I promise the cooler won't smell.)

I also threw some chestnuts in with the turkey, worked incredibly well except that I always make too many.

Ample Vigour
11-17-2008, 03:39 PM
Thompson's Turkey (http://www.bigdaddyskitchen.com/Tall%20Tales%20and%20Anecdotes/Stories/Morton%20Thompson%27s%20Turkey.htm) is the challenge that no one is tough enough to face. Every year I stare it down and, every year, I blink.

Sven
11-17-2008, 03:42 PM
Thompson's Turkey (http://www.bigdaddyskitchen.com/Tall%20Tales%20and%20Anecdotes/Stories/Morton%20Thompson%27s%20Turkey.htm) is the challenge that no one is tough enough to face. Every year I stare it down and, every year, I blink.

I don't blame you. Pork in stuffing would scare the hell out of me or force me to overcook the bird.

Ample Vigour
11-17-2008, 04:04 PM
I don't blame you. Pork in stuffing would scare the hell out of me or force me to overcook the bird.

It spends five and half hours in the oven, I think trichinosis should be no threat.

What spooks me most is just the quantity of labor involved.

Reinforcements
11-17-2008, 04:10 PM
I pretty much look to Alton Brown for every aspect of cooking and life, so yeah. Trust this man. Brining really is the best thing you can do for turkey.

Every year 'round Christmas I make his fruit cake, which is one of the best things I've ever eaten.

ringworm
11-17-2008, 04:11 PM
I pretty much look to Alton Brown for every aspect of cooking and life, so yeah. Trust this man.
He taught me about the wonders of cast iron. Changed my life.

Sven
11-17-2008, 04:15 PM
What spooks me most is just the quantity of labor involved.

All it really is is a pasta crust grill - Iron Chef Kobe did 'em all the time.

MCBanjoMike
11-17-2008, 04:18 PM
I was pretty impressed when we rented Kung Fu Panda on Blu Ray and there was a segment by Alton Brown on how to each Chinese noodles in the extras. It was pretty cool!

I'm-a make a homemade punkin pie.

But first I gotta find a good recipe. And a punkin.

Dammit, I was all set to make a great pumpkin pie a few weeks ago, and my local grocery store didn't have any cans of pure pumpkin, the only had those stupid cans of pre-made pie filling. Ew. And before you ask, they didn't have any pumpkins either.

It's not a very good grocery store, but it's the one that's open late.

Ample Vigour
11-17-2008, 04:19 PM
All it really is is a pasta crust grill - Iron Chef Kobe did 'em all the time.

Google is powerless to help me. Got a link on that?

Guy
11-17-2008, 04:19 PM
I wasn't aware that people would typically deep-fry frozen turkeys, not until last week, when a friend told me all about this trend.

All I can ask is... why (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqemKVTf_38)?

Because it is goddamn delicious, that's why. Our Thanksgiving meal usually includes this and at least one pecan pie, as well as my grandmother's top secret recipe for rolls.

Elfir
11-17-2008, 04:21 PM
I don't know what I'd do with it but I recently ran across this awesome set of instructions for how to peel and cut a butternut squash (http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/007361how_to_peel_and_cut_a_butternut_squash.php). Those photos are magical.

Pajaro Pete
11-17-2008, 04:25 PM
The Food Network around Thanksgiving is the best thing.

Yes, if you like stuffing this won't work for you,

That's why you make cornbread dressing on the side like a civilized human being.

I'm-a make a homemade punkin pie.

But first I gotta find a good recipe. And a punkin.

I think you mean Pecan Pie. (It is better)

I wasn't aware that people would typically deep-fry frozen turkeys, not until last week, when a friend told me all about this trend.

Because deep fried turkey is awesome, the risks be damned.

Sven
11-17-2008, 04:27 PM
Google is powerless to help me. Got a link on that?

I'm not sure if there IS a link. Basically, just make any sheet pasta (say, from a ravioli prep), take your designated meat and slap it over the top like wrapping paper.

Actually, try "en croute". I think Ramsay did one for Cookalong Live #1. (http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/chefs/gordon-ramsay/salmon-en-croute-recipe_p_1.html) Short Pastry instead of Pasta, but you get the general idea.

(Although in an en croute prep, you keep the coating; with a pasta grill, you're just using the coating as a sealant, closer to a salt crust grill)

I don't know what I'd do with it but I recently ran across this awesome set of instructions for how to peel and cut a butternut squash.

IF I was divulging mom's recipe for Butternut Squash Bread Pudding (which is a combination of about six different ones found online), this would be very useful.

Zarathustra
11-17-2008, 04:41 PM
http://www.macalester.edu/wmcn/images/tofurkey.jpg

YEAAAAHHHHH!!!

ArugulaZ
11-17-2008, 04:42 PM
I think you mean Pecan Pie. (It is better)


Mmm... Pecan pie...

I could go for some of that right now. For that matter, pumpkin pie sounds fantastic too. I'm game for just about any pie as long as it's not made of icky slimy berries that feel like dislodged eyeballs in your mouth.

Sooooo... Shivam. What does a vegetarian with strong ties to his cultural heritage do for Thanksgiving? Or for that matter, any holiday associated with a large feast? What makes an ideal replacement for a turkey?

Jeanie
11-17-2008, 05:02 PM
I think you mean Pecan Pie. (It is better)


LIAR!

Nothing beats a good pumpkin pie, though a good apple pie makes a strong case.

Dizzy
11-17-2008, 05:04 PM
Nothing beats a good pumpkin pie,

All else is unreal.

Elfir
11-17-2008, 05:05 PM
I don't like mush pies. I like the ones with identifiable filling like apple slices or blackberries. Mmm blackberry pie... Just over a week until you are in my belly...

Guy
11-17-2008, 05:05 PM
Nope! Pretty sure pecan pie is better than both of those. Especially if it's an awesome variation like cheesecake pecan pie or chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

Elfir
11-17-2008, 05:06 PM
Now pumpkin cheesecake can be pretty good. Of course a good cheesecake is a good cheesecake pretty much no matter what the flavor is.

Sven
11-17-2008, 05:07 PM
or chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

At which point do we just get to the conclusion that "tossing candied pecans on top of anything makes it better?"

Dizzy
11-17-2008, 05:12 PM
Why do people put up orange and brown decorative lights for Thanksgiving?

:/

ArugulaZ
11-17-2008, 05:18 PM
It's the color of dead leaves, and thus is considered festive and appropriate for an autumn holiday.

Pajaro Pete
11-17-2008, 05:43 PM
At which point do we just get to the conclusion that "tossing bourbon in anything makes it better?"

Wolfgang
11-17-2008, 05:51 PM
YEAAAAHHHHH!!! A way to ensure you spend Thanksgiving alone and despised!!!!!!!!!

I kid, I kid. I'm sure the other bike messengers and co-op employees are all good company. On the other hand, everyone else is a cold-blooded murderer.

I haven't hosted a T-Day yet, so I've never had to prepare a turkey. But I will say: when you're in Philly, go to Jones restaurant and enjoy their Thanksgiving Dinner entree. Perfect turkey, mash tates, sweet pertaters, real cranberry sauce and cornbread stuffing, on the side, like a civilized person makes, yes. You'll be surprised that a business can get it so right. The SO and I rerely get to spend the actual holiday days together, so we make sure to have this at least once a season.

Violentvixen
11-17-2008, 06:09 PM
I don't like mush pies. I like the ones with identifiable filling like apple slices or blackberries. Mmm blackberry pie... Just over a week until you are in my belly...

Wow, I'm the opposite. Weird chunks in pie bothers me.

But I also hate fruit bits in yoghurt, so there ya go.

Zarathustra
11-17-2008, 07:53 PM
I kid, I kid. I'm sure the other bike messengers and co-op employees are all good company. On the other hand, everyone else is a cold-blooded murderer.

It's funny 'cause it's true! THAT YOU ARE A GAY ANIMAL RAPER-KILLER.

Wolfgang
11-17-2008, 07:59 PM
It's funny 'cause it's true! THAT YOU ARE A GAY ANIMAL RAPER-KILLER.

That's a half-truth!

Sheana
11-17-2008, 08:54 PM
I am craving sweet potato casserole with crunchy marshmallows on top super bad now.

Red Hedgehog
11-17-2008, 09:25 PM
My dad makes a killer oyster stuffing which definitely tastes a lot better when cooked inside the turkey than when cooked outside it. It's still pretty good outside the turkey, so maybe it's worth it to try this Alton Brown's recipe.

SabreCat
11-17-2008, 09:33 PM
YOU ARE A GAY ANIMAL RAPER-KILLER.
He kills people who rape gay animals? A vigilante!

Reinforcements
11-18-2008, 06:52 AM
I was pretty impressed when we rented Kung Fu Panda on Blu Ray and there was a segment by Alton Brown on how to each Chinese noodles in the extras. It was pretty cool!
Oh my goooooooooood. I have to buy this dvd now.

Also, pecan pie is the best pie.

Dadgum Roi
11-18-2008, 06:55 AM
I can't stand turkey. We usually have fried chicken or a pork shoulder instead.

ThornGhost
11-18-2008, 08:34 AM
Pumpkin pie is what you NEED.
It's a time honored tradition amongst my cousins and I to go for a walk my grandmother's woods after Thanksgiving dinner. I will usually wrap up a slice of pumpkin pie in a paper towel, stick it in my coat pocket, and enjoy surrounded by the beauty of a cool, late autumn day in the forest.
I also recommend eating it without utensils. It is better that way.

Sven
11-18-2008, 08:42 AM
My dad makes a killer oyster stuffing which definitely tastes a lot better when cooked inside the turkey than when cooked outside it. It's still pretty good outside the turkey, so maybe it's worth it to try this Alton Brown's recipe.

The issue is really that you can't be sure of a properly-cooked stuffing without hurting the quality of the Turkey (which is why so many people have bad memories of dried-out Turkeys; most cooking times you see assume a stuffed bird - note that the Goods Eats version is comparatively short). There's probably a way to balance it out, and AB actually did an episode revolving around stuffing a bird later in the series as a way of moderating his "STUFFING IS EVIL!" cathphrase, but you have to be REALLY careful if you want to maintain the quality of the Turkey itself.

I don't have it lying around, but one of Ramsay's cookbooks comes with a DVD featuring him cooking Christmas dinner, complete with a Goose of all things, and it looked *incredible*.

Of course, you could always call The Butterball Hotline (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TcGEcKjSu4).

Elfir
11-18-2008, 08:50 AM
Pumpkin pie is what you NEED.
It's a time honored tradition amongst my cousins and I to go for a walk my grandmother's woods after Thanksgiving dinner. I will usually wrap up a slice of pumpkin pie in a paper towel, stick it in my coat pocket, and enjoy surrounded by the beauty of a cool, late autumn day in the forest.
I also recommend eating it without utensils. It is better that way.

It is custom among my cousins to run around in the yard after dark and track mud (there's always mud) across the white tile kitchen floor.

Good times.

Brickroad
11-18-2008, 09:03 AM
To be honest I actually like my turkey slightly dry. I mean I just prefer it that way for one (because I am a weirdnik) but for two if the choice were between slightly-dry-turkey-plus-stuffing and juicy-turkey-but-no-stuffing then I know which lane I'm going to get into every time.

Dadgum Roi
11-18-2008, 09:05 AM
Addendum to my previous post:

Some folks around here are making turkey barbecue now. This stuff is killer.

Reinforcements
11-18-2008, 10:10 AM
To be honest I actually like my turkey slightly dry. I mean I just prefer it that way for one (because I am a weirdnik) but for two if the choice were between slightly-dry-turkey-plus-stuffing and juicy-turkey-but-no-stuffing then I know which lane I'm going to get into every time.
I'm mad for stuffing too, but there's no reason you have to put the stuffing in the turkey. It cooks just as well in a pan by itself.

Matchstick
11-18-2008, 10:36 AM
Nope! Pretty sure pecan pie is better than both of those. Especially if it's an awesome variation like cheesecake pecan pie or chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

Pecan pie is the best pie of all. Period. Those things you speak of are, in fact, not pecan pie, but an abomination.

sraymonds
11-18-2008, 10:39 AM
I have three Thanksgiving dinners to go to this year.

I am going to be so fat.

Ample Vigour
11-18-2008, 12:20 PM
I can't stand turkey. We usually have fried chicken or a pork shoulder instead.

I was thinking turducken, but fuck that. This year we partake of the fruits of the South.