Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Brine a Turkey and other fun!

My kitchen is ready for "destruction." Today is the day I start to brine the turkey.  I have never done this before...should be fun! Of course when I got the turkey out of the fridge (after 2 days) it was still frozen...SOLID! Oh well into the sink it went with cold water...that aught to thaw it! Right?

Step 1: Simmer 1 quart of the apple cider with the salt, allspice and bay for 5 minutes stirring regularly...and of course get distracted during this step and forget to stir...but it's all good (and Mom if you are reading this as I'm sure you are, I am having FUN, and I'm not super stressed....a bit stressed, but it's ALL GOOD!)


Step 2: Add the remaining 3 quarts of apple cider and 4 quarts of water. Well my stock pot is apparently NOT big enough (as evidenced by the picture below) so I only got 3-1/2 quarts of juice and 1 quart of water into the pot with the turkey, that is almost too big for the pot...glad I only went with a 15 lb turkey instead of the 20 lb bird the recipe called for...

Step 3: Place turkey in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight...I'll wait to pull this beauty until I have to....should have started this last night...oh well...it's ALL good! If it's good then I know what to do, or not to do for next year...


Now that the turkey is in the fridge, time to start the cranberry sauce cause I'm crazy like that making everything from scratch!

The cranberry sauce is pretty straight forward and simple...messy,  but simple

Only three ingredients (at least for part 1)

In a large sauce pan (and seriously, as I learned later you need a LARGE sauce pan) combine the cranberries, orange Juice

and sugar

Bring to a boil while mixing, then turn to medium heat
Keep stirring, and don't look away, cause when I did, cause I was getting my immersion blender it almost boiled over...don't make that mistake...and do be careful, as when those cranberries start to boil they like to "pop" and splatter everywhere.  This is why you need a LARGE sauce pan.

I did blend everything to get a mostly smooth texture (also messy, but fun, cause I LOVE my kitchen toys!)

After the 10 min on medium you can carefully transfer the thick mixture to a bowl and stick it in the refrigerator till cool, then cover. It's oh so pretty! I think next year if I have an extra pair of hands I may strain  this step...we'll get the verdict in a few days.

After I was done with these two Thanksgiving dishes, and mostly done with a batch of key lime cupcakes I decided to make a drink.  Hello Bloody Mary (not spicy)!

I am really looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family! And I'm not being sarcastic.  Happy Cooking and Enjoy!