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Old 11-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
We are hosting Thanksgiving this year. 16-20 for dinner. Sit down dinner. Between the two of us, we have enough good dishes, Cloth napkins and silverware.

Dx's kitchen is smaller size so it will be a hub-bub. I know we will make mash potatoes the day before and reheat in a crock pot. It takes a long time just to peel potatoes and these turned out really good last year. Make ahead gravy and add turkey drippings to finish when re heating.

Everyone brings a dish so there is not so much for any one person to do. It will be fun.
That sounds a wonderful number for a Thanksgiving meal. I was brought up on big Christmases like that. In the 1950s my maternal Grandmother lived in a cottage with no electricity, gas lighting and (normal sized for then) gas cooker and no hot water on tap - it all had to be boiled in an enormous kettle on the stove.

She managed to cook a full Christmas lunch for 20+. The men were sent across the road to the pub out of the way and her daughters and daughters-in-law all knew their jobs so it worked like clockwork. As well as family there was an old friend of hers who had no family and if my cousins had boyfriends who were doing their national service at a near-by army camp and had the day off but couldn't get home they were roped in too.

My Dad always said he decided he should marry my Mother when he was stationed at said army camp during the war and was invited to her house for Christmas dinner. He said that if her Mother could cook like that despite strict rationing the daughter would be quite a catch! Mother always said she married him because he was a good dancer. Well, people get married for worse reasons these days.
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:16 PM   #62
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I have a pile of people coming for dinner. This includes 5 vegetarians.

Peanut Soup
Turkey (2 of them)
Herbed dressing with giblets
Herbed dressing with nuts (vegetarian)
Gravy made from boiled and roasted turkey bits
Veggie gravy (stock from roasted veg)
Cranberry relish (cooked)
Cranberry relish (raw)
Mashed spuds
Baked Yams and w/sliced apples
Relish tray
Steamed Green Beans/ with toasted hazlenuts
Corn, cheddar and chile custard

Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Pecan pie
Gingered Apple sorbet

Iced tea
WA state Malbac
Homemade Ginger-lime "beer" (no-alcohol)
"Peanut soup" - sounds interesting. Recipe?
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:26 PM   #63
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I see many have issues with dry white meat when roasting a whole bird.
My remedy for this problem is to roast the turkey breast side down for at least 1/2 the roasting time.
Then turning it back over, breast side up to finally crisp up the skin and finish cooking.

Makes for juicy tender breast meat. Been doing it this way for years and have been complimented on the turkey as many times.
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:48 PM   #64
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I find that roasting to 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit and no more keeps the breast very moist and juicy. I now brine which gives extra insurance and guarantees a moist turkey.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:11 PM   #65
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I can't understand this obsession with brining turkeys. It's caught on over here, probably thanks to promotion on television by Nigella Lawson who is not exactly a technical cook of the first order.

I've never had a dry, tasteless turkey cooked by my mother, grandmother, aunts or cousins (or me, for that matter). I suspect the reason so many turkeys eaten at celebration nights out are dry is because they have been roasted too long and too high.

I would have thought that brining would draw out moisture not put it in. (Basic school science. Osmosis, if I remember correctly but I was only 13 years old)

Unless the solution is so weak in which case it's drawn into the bird. I spend too much on poultry which hasn't had water added at source (to make it weigh more), that I'm damned sure I'm not going to do it myself.

I'm going away for Christmas but have a goose tucked up in my freezer for my post Christmas dinner party for friends. With a goose you have a pretty fair chance that it was raised relatively humanely as geese don't thrive in the overcrowded and insanitary conditions that turkeys and chicken will survive.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:31 PM   #66
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I see many have issues with dry white meat when roasting a whole bird.
My remedy for this problem is to roast the turkey breast side down for at least 1/2 the roasting time.
Then turning it back over, breast side up to finally crisp up the skin and finish cooking.

Makes for juicy tender breast meat. Been doing it this way for years and have been complimented on the turkey as many times.
Yes, that works. I do it with chickens too.

I don't do it with geese as the last time I did it I dropped the goose, tried to catch it, caught the roasting tin and knocked it on the floor, bird, fat and all. I scooped up the bird, dusted it off, put it back in the tin and shoved it in the oven quickly before anyone noticed and spent a fun time mopping up the grease and cleaning the floor. An inch of goose fat in the bottom of a roasting tin goes a surprisingly long way.

Funny to look back but it wasn't at the time!
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:09 PM   #67
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"Peanut soup" - sounds interesting. Recipe?
Oh, it's absolutely delicious! Peanuts are a major Virginia crop - Planters Peanuts was established just west of here. I don't know if this is Janet's recipe, but I've made this one before for Thanksgiving when I had a lot of family over and it was great: Cream of Peanut Soup : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:19 PM   #68
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I can't understand this obsession with brining turkeys. It's caught on over here, probably thanks to promotion on television by Nigella Lawson who is not exactly a technical cook of the first order.

I've never had a dry, tasteless turkey cooked by my mother, grandmother, aunts or cousins (or me, for that matter). I suspect the reason so many turkeys eaten at celebration nights out are dry is because they have been roasted too long and too high.

I would have thought that brining would draw out moisture not put it in. (Basic school science. Osmosis, if I remember correctly but I was only 13 years old)

Unless the solution is so weak in which case it's drawn into the bird. I spend too much on poultry which hasn't had water added at source (to make it weigh more), that I'm damned sure I'm not going to do it myself.

I'm going away for Christmas but have a goose tucked up in my freezer for my post Christmas dinner party for friends. With a goose you have a pretty fair chance that it was raised relatively humanely as geese don't thrive in the overcrowded and insanitary conditions that turkeys and chicken will survive.
I wouldn't exactly call it an obsession, but a great way to insure a moist bird while adding some nice flavor.

Most factory birds here don't have a ton of flavor to start with, so the brining helps with that. Brining also makes the leftover meat (especially the breast) maintain its moisture.

I just really enjoy the flavor of a brined bird, I do it for that reason alone. I use a thermometer to cook the bird, so I don't really have to worry about a dry bird.

I've had so many people tell me that it is the best turkey that they've ever tasted!
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #69
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I've heard people say brining gives you some leeway with overcooking, meaning if you overcook it a bit, it will still be juicy. I've only brined a pork roast and it was too salty for my taste. I'd be afraid of ruining a big dinner like Thanksgiving, so I've never brined a turkey. My oven came with a probe thermometer, so I can set it for the desired done temperature and not worry about it. And it's fun to watch its progress
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:45 PM   #70
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I've heard people say brining gives you some leeway with overcooking, meaning if you overcook it a bit, it will still be juicy. I've only brined a pork roast and it was too salty for my taste. I'd be afraid of ruining a big dinner like Thanksgiving, so I've never brined a turkey. My oven came with a probe thermometer, so I can set it for the desired done temperature and not worry about it. And it's fun to watch its progress
I have a probe thermometer but not built in. Sometimes I look at it and think "Oh crap that's cooking faster than I thought it would!" So I have to hustle to get the rest of the dinner ready!
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:11 PM   #71
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I just barbecued a 15 lb. turkey on the Webber yesterday. I used alder wood over charcoal to provide the smoke. It took 3 hours to bring the bird to a temperature of 160' F., at which time I pulled the bird and set in on a sheet pan. I let it sit for 30 minutes. This bird was stuffed, and the center of the stuffing only came up to 145' F. I scooped it, placed it a large glass bowl and nuked it to 175 ' measured with a digital thermometer.

The bird was carved at home by removing the whole half breasts from both sides, and slicing against the grain. I carefully removed the legs, wings, and backs, carving the meat from them as well. I didn't even cheat and eat the oysters, but took all of the meat from the back. Everything was neatly arranged in my electric roasting pan, and the juice from the drip pan poured over top. The carcass, giblets, and liver were all boiled and the broth poured over the arranged turkey. It was then covered and refrigerated until today. I plugged in the roaster and turned it to 200' f. I nuked the dressing to searving temp., and served up a very tasty, juicy, and tender bird.

There were two turkeys cooked for the pot luck. Another person, who is known to be a very good cook in her own right, oven roasted her bird. It was Ok. But she raved about mine. People love a barbecued turkey.

I also made two, from scratch, pumpkin pies. Yeh, they were a hit too. Another member made the best mashed potatoes ever. I need to ask her what kind of potatoes she used. They were so smooth and creamy, not grainy.

It was a great, Thanksgiving themed pot luck.

The moral of the story is that I didn't cook these breast-side down, or brined, or even injected with broth. I get the same results whether I'm roasting my turkey in the oven, or barbecuing them on the Webber Kettle. I simply rub the skin with butter, salt, and cook to temp. They come out very moist, er, let me say juicy, more than moist, and tender every time. I've even been known to roast them at 450' in the oven, with equally good results but with super crispy skin.

Pull the bird when it reads 160' F. on the thermometer. You will have the same results, even with a cheap store bird.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #72
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One son in China, one with his girlfriends family, Mom and sister too far away...daughter and I are going out to eat. Prime rib, and perhaps a cocktail or three.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:40 PM   #73
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It's just hubby and myself and we don't eat much but we will be cooking a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes w/gravy, mixed veggies, dinner rolls and a pumpkin pie.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:55 PM   #74
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It's just hubby and myself and we don't eat much but we will be cooking a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes w/gravy, mixed veggies, dinner rolls and a pumpkin pie.
Even if it was just the two of us, I cook the whole shebang, we'll eat Thanksgiving dinner 3 nights in a row and enjoy it every time!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #75
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So far I'm not sure how many people will be here, but here is the preliminary menu

Turkey, I'll also cook a breast if we have extra people
Mashed potatoes
praline yams
cranberry pear sauce
potato rolls
green bean casserole (brought by guest)
pan gravy
homemade stuffing
pecan pie
pumpkin pie

Cider from the farmer's market (so good) and other assorted beverages

Things will be added if more guests are added, likely one more pie and maybe some favorites brought by the guests.

I was going to use a jar of lingonberry from IKEA for Thanksgiving, but I want to keep it for myself so I'll make the cranberry pear sauce instead, which is really good and everyone seems to enjoy it.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:08 PM   #76
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Even if it was just the two of us, I cook the whole shebang, we'll eat Thanksgiving dinner 3 nights in a row and enjoy it every time!

I enjoy cooking Thanksgiving dinner so much I cooked a full dinner for just me one year. It included everything I like.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:12 PM   #77
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I enjoy cooking Thanksgiving dinner so much I cooked a full dinner for just me one year. It included everything I like.
I've done the same thing. Double dressing and gravy, the reason for the season. JennyO turkey breast.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:17 PM   #78
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I enjoy cooking Thanksgiving dinner so much I cooked a full dinner for just me one year. It included everything I like.

I would do that too. I love the leftovers enough that I would enjoy having them, and making many different dishes with them for each night!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:18 PM   #79
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I'll usually buy an extra breast and cook it later in the winter and Rob gets so excited to have another "Thanksgiving" dinner, he's so darned easy to please.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:23 PM   #80
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I like having dressing and gravy just because it Tuesday...
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