Saturday, November 13, 2010

To Brine or not to Brine that is the Question

On the Menu

I’m the turkey maker and eater.  Mom doesn’t have anything to do with the turkey, but every year we argue over how I’m going to do it.
That's only because back in the early seventies, I learned to roast a turkey in a brown paper bag from the Galloping Gourmet (Graham Kerr).  His method produced a well-seasoned, golden brown, juicy turkey. I have used his foolproof method throughout my meat eating years.
Which, by the way, does work perfectly every time, so why mess with it?
Because in 2003, I learned how to brine a turkey from Alton Brown (my present day Galloping Gourmet).  Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to taste his method because I had become a vegetarian.  But I can assure you that his method is just as seasoned and moist as the Galloping Gourmet’s.  I just didn’t get the opportunity to try it.
Well I tried it for you and it is delicious.  But a few times, I tried to combine both the brown bag cooking with the brine and it was humiliating.  My turkey turned out so dry, it flaked apart when I cut it.  And in front of company, Ma.  It's like the first time Grandma and Granddad came to dinner and you left the bag of giblets in the turkey.  
Jeeps I can understand that.  That happened over 40 years ago and I think about it every Thanksgiving.  Boy, I really gotta let that one go.
The only other thing I have to say about the turkey is that if you can afford it; buy a turkey free of growth hormones and antibiotics. You do not have to buy organic just be conscious of what is being put in your bird.
Since the cat has been let out of the bag, I am going to give you the brown paper bag method.  You can find Alton Brown’s method @ httpL//

Stay tuned for the cranberry sauce and dressing yum!

Soulful Eating
Angelique and Joyce

Roasted Brown Bag Turkey

1 – 12 lb turkey
1+ tablespoon coarse sea salt
1+ tablespoon black pepper
1+ tablespoon garlic powder
1+ tablespoon onion powder
1 cup peanut oil (use peanut oil only.  Other oils will set the bag on fire)
2+ teaspoons poultry seasoning (recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 large brown paper bag

Note:  Turkey should be seasoned 1 day prior to cooking.  If turkey is frozen allow 3 day for it to thaw in the refrigerator.

Remove giblet bag from turkey clean it inside and outside thoroughly.  Pat it dry with paper towels then generously sprinkle the inside and outside with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and poultry seasoning.  (It is best to purchase new poultry seasoning or make it fresh.)  Wrap the bird in foil and let it sit over night.

24 Hours Later

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, mix together the peanut oil with 1 tablespoon each of the following:  garlic powder, onion powder and paprika plus 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning.  Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Drain turkey of any excess liquid that may have accumulated then rest it on the foil.  Massage the oil mixture over the turkey making sure you coat it inside and out thoroughly.  Coat the paper bag thoroughly with the remaining oil mixture. Add more peanut oil if needed to coat the bag. To ensure that the bag does not catch fire, you must use peanut oil.  Place the paper bag in a roasting pan, insert a roasting rack (if you have) in the bag and place the turkey on the rack then staple the bag shut. Put pan in the oven and bake undisturbed 10 minutes per pound (a 12 pound turkey will cook in 2 hours). After the cooking time has elapsed, remove turkey from oven and let it sit in the unopened bag 1 hour before serving.

Note:  Even after the turkey is removed from the oven it will continue to cook.  Just know, that if you followed the instructions your turkey will be done, juicy and golden brown.
Do not over crowd your oven.  The more food you have in it the longer it will take your food to cook.

Fresh Poultry Seasoning
2 tablespoon ground sage
1 tablespoon ground thyme
1 tablespoon ground rosemary
1 tablespoon ground marjoram
½ teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients by hand or in a food processor or blender.

Try and purchase all ingredients from a specialty store that sells herbs and spices in bulk.  This way you can purchase only the amount that is needed.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love the blog. Congratulations and good luck with everything. I will keep check on it when I can.