November 22, 2006
Thanksgiving Recipe - open thread [Bumped]
***Posting will be light this week. Work and family activities have been a bit frantic to the leadup to Thanksgiving. More later ***
Talked to the maternal unit today about next week's festivities. Mom does Thanksgiving, I do Christmas (until such time The Daughters are in a situation to take over and the traditions will shift). Thanksgiving at Mom's is a full sit-down affair, with linen on the table, fine china, Waterford crystal, fire in the fireplace
barring 80 degree weather as can happen in So Cal
We end up usually with a very traditional spread, though we varie on sides and desserts, try new tricks with the main event - the turkey.
Over the last few years, friends have sworn by deep-fried turkey. I still haven't been convinced. Mom orders a fresh turkey and it does make a difference.
I want to throw this open (and I may bump it to the top of the page from time to time over the next week) for any one with tips or recipes to share, questions to ask, or traditions to relate.
Thanksgiving ranks as a favorite holiday of mine because it has stayed so family-oriented. It doesn't suffer the commercialization of Christmas, nor the kitchiness of Valentine's Day, nor the sudden popularity for adults of Halloween. It still is a holiday of traditions ... passing some and making new ones. As a "sandwich" generation (elderly parents, young adult children), I feel both comforted by Thanksgiving and a little pressured.
So, dear reader, it's up to you. Cooking your first Thanksgiving? Trying to figure out how to turndown an invitation from in-laws you can barely tolerate? Want to keep the kidlets from having food fights with the whole cranberry sauce?
Want to deepfry Martha Stewart?
Let's hear from you!
Posted by Darleen at November 22, 2006 06:49 AM
Great idea, Darleen.
We are having a big dinner this year - both sides of the family and 17 coming (last count). Still trying to work out how to do it in our small house!
I am thinking of cooking my turkey in a bag this year since it will be a 22 pounder - have never done that before but I do leg of lamb in a bag and it browns wonderfully. Has anyone done that? I'm doing a chicken in a bag this weekend to try it out.
Posted by: Cassandra at November 16, 2006 05:38 AM
I haven't done a whole turkey in a bag, but I've done a turkey breast (great when one is jonesing for a turkey dinner and there's only the two of you) and it turned out beautiful! Wonderfully browned and moist!
Posted by: Darleen at November 16, 2006 06:29 AM
Try brining the bird and then starting it really hot to get the skin nice and tight and brown. That really seals in the juices. Makes quite a tasty bird too.
Posted by: caltechgirl at November 16, 2006 12:19 PM
I second the advice from CalTechGirl. Here's my turkey-cooking advice:
Before cooking, baste the turkey with butter or olive oil. Also baste inside the skin by pulling the skin away from the meat and coating inside the skin with herbed butter. Put the turkey in a preheated 450 degree oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350-375 degrees to cook. The skin will get crispy inside and out and seal in the juices. After cooking, let the turkey sit outside the oven (tented with foil to retain warmth) for 20-30 minutes until the juices settle.
Thanksgiving is among my favorite holidays because it's about family, food, and some truly classic college football games.
Posted by: DRJ at November 16, 2006 04:01 PM
Last Thanksgiving I got two turkeys for the price of one. I fried one and baked the other one. There wasn't a dime's worth of difference between them, both were delicious.
However, the added cost of oil made the one I fried about twice as expensive. From now on, I bake my turkeys.
Posted by: mokus at November 18, 2006 07:35 PM
I'll be at a cousin's place for Thanksgiving, but I just scored a turkey for around $3, and I'll roast it this coming weekend once we're back in town.
I may have to go with traditional roasting this year, because if I do this on the Sunday after Thx, I'll need the extra no-hassle time while we're at mass.
But when time permits and I don't mind cleaning the oven afterward, I prefer the Barbara Kafka high-heat method, which is a formalized version of the Cal Tech Girl approach. The Kafka book is called *Roasting,* and it rawks. (It also has great advice on other foodstuffs, including other roast-ables, and a luscious approach to making turkey soup.)
Posted by: Attila Girl at November 21, 2006 01:37 AM