Thanksgiving

Here’s what we did in 2014. It worked well, but the turkey needed to cook a bit more and the gravy was AMAZING.

This makes turkey, stuffing and gravy for 25 people.
22 lb turkey
2 c salt
2 c sugar
4 oranges, quartered
4 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs sage
4 gallons water
4 cups ice
1/2 c canola oil
2 c milk
2 c flour
1 half pound loaf of stuffing bread (half white and half sourdough or all sourdough is preferred), cubed and dried out from the air or oven
1 stick butter
2 onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 granny smith apples, diced
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
3/4 lb Italian sausage, browned
1 c chicken stock
1 c Craisins

lots of S+P on hand

Day before Thanksgiving
Turkey 22lbs for about 25 people.
The night before, put the turkey in a brine. Use the blue cooler and keep ice in it as well as keeping it in the garage.
Brine:
2 c salt
2 c sugar
4 oranges, quartered
4 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
4 gallons of water
4 cups ice

Dissolve the salt and sugar in hot water over the stove. Add to the cooler and put outside to get cold. Add the rest of the water cold into the cooler. Tie up the herbs in twine so you can place them in the turkey when cooking.

Once the brine is ready in the cooler, remove the giblets and stuff. Rinse the turkey in cold water and submerge the turkey breast up until you go to bed. Just before bed, turn it breast down. Make sure it’s as submerged as you can get it.

Chop the bread and toast in the oven and leave it out.
Chop the rest of the veggies, herbs for tomorrow. Brown the sausage for the stuffing.

Thanksgiving Day!
1. 8am Remove the center rack in the oven & preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse in cold water.
3. Pat dry with paper towels while still in the sink.
4. Insert the herbs and a couple lemons and oranges into the cavity from the brine.
5. Take out a triangle of aluminum foil and fit it to the breast of the turkey for later. Grease with canola oil and set aside. 6. Grease the outside of the turkey liberally with canola oil and tuck the wings underneath.
7. 8:30am Roast the turkey at 500 degrees for 20 minutes to crisp the skin.
8. 9am Insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and set to 165 degrees. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and put on the aluminum breast plate.
— DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN OR TOUCH THE TURKEY until the alarm goes off–
> 12:30pm Make the stuffing: (turkey should be around 130 degrees)
Melt the stick of butter in a large pan with tall sides. Add 2 c chopped onion, celery, apples, parsley, 1 T salt and 1 t pepper. Sauté until soft, then pour that over the dried bread cubes already in a bowl. Add the sausage browned, 1 c chicken stock and 1 c craisins and mix in the bowl. Pour into a 9×13″ baking dish. Ready to go into the oven!

> Get ready for gravy time: 2 c Flour, 1 c Milk, salt, pepper, 3-4 c chicken stock and 2 stems chopped sage and 1 stem chopped rosemary ready to go.

2pm people start arriving (turkey is at about 155 degrees)

9. About 2:15pm When the turkey hits the 165 degree mark remove from the pan onto a cutting board and cover with a large aluminum foil tent for 15-20 minutes before carving.

–> 2:15pm This is when you can put in the stuffing and any other dishes that need to be warmed. Stuffing is 30 minutes at 300.

10. Take the pan drippings and put them into the gravy maker to separate. Pour the drippings with only a little fat back into the large pan over low heat (2 burners). You don’t need that much.
11. Stir in the herbs first, then thicken with flour until it’s a paste. Add the milk and stock until it’s the desired consistency and taste. S+P as necessary.

2:45pm Carve turkey, take other dishes out of oven
3pm EAT!

From:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe.html#lightbox-recipe-video
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/brined-herb-roasted-turkey-recipe.html
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/sausage-and-herb-stuffing-recipe.html

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