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Thread: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

  1. #71
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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    I'm going to make turkey this weekend and I was thinking of using an apple juice brine.

    Kinda nervous about the idea though. The reason I'm making turkey before Thanksgiving is because I'm making gravy at Thanksgiving for a bunch of people I don't know. They are my daughter's "in-laws to be". We're having Thanksgiving with them this year. It will be the first time we parents are meeting each other. They are cooking the turkey, but I'm bringing my own gravy stock, just in case, so that I make sure I have enough for a good amount of gravy. Maybe it's best not to try something new this year.
    Last edited by Keymaster; 11-17-2008 at 05:48 PM.

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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    The chicken brine I use has salt, sugar, apple juice and beer, so the bourbon one actually might be pretty darn good.

    You need salt, sugar and acid for brining. The apple juice provides the acid
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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    One of my mom's friends has started keeping foreign college students over holidays, when they can't stay in the dorm but can't go home, and so for several years our Thanksgivings and sometimes Christmases have had young guys from Nigeria, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, etc. I think this year we're on our own -- the three of us, me, mom and my sister -- for Thanksgiving, and it's also Mom's birthday, so I'm not sure what we're going to cook. I don't like turkey and Mom says she doesn't need it, but she's also pretty traditional in her tastes (I'd make Thai or Mexican, but she doesn't like those cuisines). We may also just go help at a shelter that serves Thanksgiving dinner.
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  4. #74
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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    For the 5th year in a row, we're doing fried turkey. For two years, a friend of mine fried them. The last three, we've bought them from the church. They fry turkeys on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as a fund-raiser. Just reheat, and there's the turkey. It's great because I don't like roasted turkey and I can tolerate fried turkey. We're getting two this year--freezing one to share post-Christmas with my sister and her boyfriend when they come to town in late December. Truth be known, my favorite part is boiling the bones (and whatever remains) on the bones with a big onion, celery and garlic and using the stock to make gumbo. I can't recommend strongly enough making stock from the turkey bones.

  5. #75
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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoneGrrrl;3236294;
    For the 5th year in a row, we're doing fried turkey. For two years, a friend of mine fried them. The last three, we've bought them from the church. They fry turkeys on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as a fund-raiser. Just reheat, and there's the turkey. It's great because I don't like roasted turkey and I can tolerate fried turkey. We're getting two this year--freezing one to share post-Christmas with my sister and her boyfriend when they come to town in late December. Truth be known, my favorite part is boiling the bones (and whatever remains) on the bones with a big onion, celery and garlic and using the stock to make gumbo. I can't recommend strongly enough making stock from the turkey bones.
    I love fried turkey. My cousin makes one every year for our family Thanksgiving. I was given a turkey fryer a couple years ago but have yet to use it myself. From what I've heard, brining is even more important if you're deep frying a turkey.

    Agree with you about making turkey stock from the carcass. I make turkey soup with mine.

  6. #76
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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    We've done dozens of fried turkeys and I have not brined any of them.
    The oil sears the skin shut so all the moisture and flavor stays in the meat. Fried turkeys are some of the most moist, flavorful turkeys out there.

    But on Thanksgiving, I prefer a roasted one because I prefer the stuffing that cooks inside the bird and you can't do that with a fried turkey.
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  7. #77
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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    I've never had deep fried turkey - and for some reason it does not appeal to me - which is strange since nearly everything else deep fried does!

    For my Thanksgiving turkey, as it is the 'star' of the show, I always get a free range turkey and I have brined it and not brined it and have to admit that it does come out juicier when it has been brined. Drat it all, because brining is a pain.
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  8. #78
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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    IC, you need to try fried turkey! It's not what it sounds like--it isn't like fried chicken or anything like that (no batter). You inject it with seasoning (garlic butter or something similar), deep fry it in peanut oil (which is on the healthier sides of oils as a mono-saturate), and then it cooks really fast (about 3 minutes per pound) so it retains juices. Roasted turkey is always so terribly dry to me (even if it's injected and/or stuffed) that you need gravy. You don't need gravy with a fried turkey. Of course, if you like in-the-bird stuffing like MRD, fried turkey isn't the way to go. Me, I hate stuffing and most "bread-y" things, despite my Slavic heritage. However, I've not ventured into tur-duck-en territory because most of those are stuffed with crawfish in these parts. I could eat that, but no one else in the family could and I'd be stuck with a whole lot of bird for a loooong while.

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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    Guy Fieri put molassas in his brine the other day.

    Does any use chestnuts? I've never eaten them and was wondering if they are a nut? Can they just be eaten out of hand, and what do they taste like in dressing?
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    Re: Let's Talk Turkey-Thanksgiving

    chestnuts are a nut in a hard casing or shell. I find them difficult to crack and I think they MUST be roasted. I've eaten them roasted and they are quite good. But I never roasted them myself.
    Although, you'd be surprised at how 3rd graders are able to get the shell off of one in 45 min. at the museum when it takes me a hammer and a lot of elbow grease to do the same thing at home. (we have an activity about the Cherokee Indians and chestnuts are in the boxes we use for the activity. Almost all the chestnuts have lost their shells)

    Fried turkey is delish and is not at all like other fried foods as phonegrrl said. It does not absorb any of the oil, it has no batter and the meat is very juicy and wonderful.

    I am going to make ahead several dishes for thanksgiving and I was wondering that if I made my mashed potatos on Wed., and reheated them, would they still be as good as if I had made them on Thur.?
    I've eaten reheated mashed potatos and yes, they are good, so not sure why I'm asking. I am just trying to save some work on Thur.
    I plan to make ahead my squash casserole and sweet potato casserole and have done that before, but I never thought about doing the regular potatos ahead of time.
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