Monday, December 25, 2006

Turkey Dinner of Alton Brown

Courtesy of Food Network and Alton Brown.

The most juicy turkey you will ever, ever, ever eat. Well thats the claim and I love turkey. However, I am no chef. I can barely navigate the grocery store much less cook a turkey. But bolstered by Alton's confidence, I gave it a shot.

My thoughts on this recipe, a bit more work but once try it, you will throw out your old recipe.
1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water
For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining. A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.TIPS: create the brine solution the night before. Since the turkey must soak for a while, try placing the bird in the brine solution around 7 AM if you want to eat late in the afternoon.
What they claim it does – Super moist turkey.
What it costs About $12 more then a normal Turkey prep
Ease of assembly (prep for the bird) 5 Stars
Ease of use (actualy makeing of the bird) 3 Stars
Actual performance 5 Stars
Final thoughts on practicality
Just as claimed, the best turkey you will ever have. It takes a while to make, try preparing the brine solution the night before. If you put the turkey in the brine in the morning, say 7 am, you should be eating by late afternoon.
5 out of 5 Stars

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