You may be wondering where I’ve been the last few (ha!) months. Well, we have been busy preparing for our first baby – a little girl! We are down to the home stretch and getting very excited. Since I will be staying home with the little one, I will hopefully have the time to get this blog up and running again.
Even though I am due just a few days after Thanksgiving, we still plan on making a full feast at our house. I love the holidays so much and I’m still feeling great, so I’m excited to play host! We are less than a week away from arguably the best eating day of the year, and I am so antsy to get things started in the kitchen.
Up first, the star of the show, the turkey! We’ve been using Alton Brown’s recipe for the last few years and it never disappoints. Although it’s a little extra work than just throwing the bird in the oven, it comes together in a snap. You’ll start by brining your turkey the night before cooking with a flavorful brine. On Thanksgiving Day, the turkey is stuffed with an aromatic blend of ingredients and then roasted until golden brown. It’s delicious! It turned me from a turkey hater to a turkey lover. Make sure if you buy a frozen turkey you allow ample time to thaw it. As a general rule of thumb, it will take 3-4 days to thaw a 14-16lb turkey.
1 (14-16lb) young turkey, fresh or frozen
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 Tbs whole peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp allspice berries
1 1/2 tsp chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water
For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup of water
4 sprigs of rosemary
6 leaves of sage
2 days before cooking: Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries and candied ginger in a large stockpot. Cook over medium-high heat until the solids dissolve. Remove the stockpot from heat and let cool completely. Store in the refrigerator overnight.
Day before cooking: Combine the brine and ice water in a large bucket (or bag) that can hold your entire turkey. Place turkey (giblets and neck removed!) breast side down in the brine, weighing down if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but not more than 16 hours. If possible, flip the turkey once during the brining or process.
Day of cooking: Preheat the oven to 500F. Remove turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly, inside and out, with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and place it on a large roasting rack set above a pan.
Prepare the aromatics by combing the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and a cup of water in a medium sized bowl. Microwave mixture on high for 5 minutes and carefully remove from the microwave after cooking. Add the steeped aromatics to the inside of the turkey along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck wings underneath the turkey and coat the skin in canola oil.
Roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 500F. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350F. Temporarily remove the turkey from the oven and cover the breast with aluminium foil, using a triangle piece of aluminium foil. Insert a probe thermometer to the thickest part of the breast and set the alarm to 161F. It should take between 2-2 1/2 hours to roast. Remove the cooked turkey from the oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.