Recipes from My Kitchen

pre-Thanksgiving, Part I

This year we decided to have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner – I love to cook dinner for other people, so we invited a few friends over.  This was also a great opportunity to make a meal with a lot of leftovers since I’m heading out of town (now Tony won’t starve :-p).

I have never made a turkey before – let alone a 20# turkey! – but since I subscribe to quite a few magazine (Every Day with Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart’s Living and Every Day Foods, Food Network Magazine, Southern Living) I had seen a few recipes that called for brining the Turkey.  I saved Alton Brown’s recipe from last year, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted.  Food Network Magazine to the rescue!  They had a build-your-own turkey brine recipe that worked GREAT and was delicious.

The Brine was easy – mix water with Oranges (I used orange juice), tea bags, kosher salt, bay leaves, sugar, cloves, and bourbon.  Bring to a boil, then cool with cold water.  After the brine is cools, add the turkey and refrigerate overnight.

We happened to have a very large pot on hand – and it has a spout for draining!!

After brining, I made a butter and herb mix (Butter, rosemary, garlic) and rubbed it all over the turkey and put it under the skin – as much as I could.  I started cooking the bird upside down, and flipped it right-side-up about halfway through the cook time.  As the turkey baked, I also basted it with the drippings in the pan (note: I also added more orange juice and bourbon to the pan to help keep things moist, and flavor the gravy).

The Turkey turned out great – the gravy was tasty, skin crispy, and we had plenty of leftovers (posts coming soon!).

Turkey Recipe:

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