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Best turkey preparation method

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Best turkey preparation method

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:32 am

Skip the damn turkey.
A couple friends and I who have been spending thanksgiving together for a few years figured out cornish hens are way to go. I bake mine with lemons & garlic, but the little devils come out delicious no matter what you do. Idiot proof.

For many years I loved roasting a big turkey. It smells great, is so delicious and moist right out of oven. But who needs all that mess, and the leftovers ain't that hot.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:11 am

Unless you're feeding an hoard, I agree.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby rabble » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:22 am

Damn that auto correct.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Ducatista » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:01 am

Are you crazy?

I make two turkeys every year. The pricier kosher bird roasts in the oven, tastes great, and looks lovely on the platter. The Butterball roasts in the Nesco and isn't so picturesque, but the meat freezes beautifully, and that extra bird provides lots of extra gravy.

Gravy is the point of the meal (and the leftovers), IMO. I serve it in an insulated coffee carafe so it stays hot all the way through our unstructured, come-when-you-like dinner.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby pds » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:12 am

Nothing feels better than disregarding holiday traditions that you don't enjoy. I spent 5 years where I never put up a tree and instead spent about 20 hours baking cookies, which I actually enjoyed.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby fennel » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:35 am

My favorite Thanksgiving dinner had a mountain of homemade egg rolls as the main act. That was way much more work than roasting a turkey, but it was fun and delicious.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:12 pm

Ducatista wrote:Gravy is the point of the meal (and the leftovers), IMO.


ya, have to admit, I do miss the gravy.

I always found that a bigger bird, 20 pounds or more, had more flavor. I eat with just 2 other people, so that made too many leftovers. Making soup out of the bones was a small ordeal, but it tasted great.

I think getting a fresh rather than frozen turkeys makes for more flavorful bird. Well worth the bother.

Some people swear by deep frying turkey, never tried but sounds like it would be finger-lickin good.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:13 pm

fennel wrote:My favorite Thanksgiving dinner had a mountain of homemade egg rolls as the main act.

you are unamerican
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby O.J. » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:43 pm

Huckleby wrote:I think getting a fresh rather than frozen turkeys makes for more flavorful bird. Well worth the bother.


Definitely worth the bother, as is brining it before cooking. While I agree that there are much more flavorful fowl options, I'll save those for days other than Thanksgiving. Sometimes, you just shouldn't mess with tradition. Plus, turkey is among the best of leftovers, whether it's a repeat of the entire dinner, an open-faced sandwich, a casserole, turkey and wild rice soup...the possibilities are endless.

I loves me a turkey dinner.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby fennel » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:08 pm

Huckleby wrote:
fennel wrote:My favorite Thanksgiving dinner had a mountain of homemade egg rolls as the main act.

you are unamerican

Colbert wrote:I Am America (And So Can You!)
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Ducatista » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:26 pm

Huckleby wrote:I think getting a fresh rather than frozen turkeys makes for more flavorful bird. Well worth the bother.

I think this is my 15th year of cooking Thanksgiving turkeys. Had always bought Butterball frozen, but went fresh for three years (two from the co-op, one from Whole Foods) in the middle. Didn't brine the first fresh bird, regretted it, and brined the next two. Was pressed for time the year after that, and was relieved to find that a frozen Butterball was as tasty as the fresh birds (and a LOT less work).

I go frozen now. Empire Kosher for the oven bird, Butterball for the Nesco. Let the thawed birds dry for a day in the fridge, stuff a little herbed butter under the skin and a few big chunks of celery/onion/apple in the cavity, and Bob's your uncle. Great-tasting bird, fantastic gravy.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:31 pm

Ducatista wrote:... and Bob's your uncle.

Had to look that one up. Great expression. Must find appropriate situations to use it.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby dave esmond » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:45 pm

Ducatista wrote:Gravy is the point of the meal (and the leftovers), IMO. I serve it in an insulated coffee carafe so it stays hot all the way through our unstructured, come-when-you-like dinner.


High five.

I love cornish hens, but come on. It's not the same thing at all.

Gravy and leftovers are what it's about. Cranberry out the can too.

Love the coffee carafe idea.

Gonna try an asian themed turkey myself this year.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby city2countrygal » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:06 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Had to look that one up.

Me too, Henry! Good one Ducatista! And Bob really is my uncle!

I usually go fresh from JL Richards in Oregon. Pretty sure they are Amish birds. Brining is important, and I always make stock.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:56 pm

does brining mean you soak bird in giant tub of salt water? why?
never heard of this. how long? just hold bird underwater till it stops fighting?
are their religious overtones to this ritual?
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