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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 21, 2017 10:22 am 
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Thank you all so much!
I have been reading along as I could but have been crazy busy
and haven't joined back in.
The 15-pound turkey is in the refrigerator with the dry brine.
I'll let you all know what the results are on Thursday.
I have always bought the best turkey I could afford and wet brined
it. This year BGR had a recent total reverse shoulder replacement
and is doing frequent physical therapy in Evergreen. Doing GREAT, by
the way! Those
trips and the PT work at home have kept us on the run.
When I read the dry brine turkey recipe in Bon Appetit I thought it
would be less mess and work for me, thus take less time. We'll see.

Getting the turkey ready for the dry brine was not easy. Maybe better
suited to a younger woman without arthritic hands. I unwrapped the the
bird and patted it dry. Then needed to loosen the skin from the breast
and legs. There is membrane holding the skin to the meat (probably so
the turkey's skin doesn't fall off when she is walking around...).
The loosening process is where younger hands would have helped.
Then I rubbed salt, brown sugar, herb, pepper mixture under the skin
all over the breast and legs. Straightened out her garments and patted
the mixture over the outside of the skin everywhere. Patted a couple of
tablespoons in the cavity.
Now she is sitting in the refrigerator waiting for the big day. I have done
a bunch of reading on this process, both the science side and the practical
side. I have decided to rinse the turkey well before cooking, hopefully,
to prevent over-salted meat and drippings. Then I'll pat her dry, basted her in
butter and pop the whole shebang in the oven. Results to follow.

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 21, 2017 11:14 am 
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I only use 12-14lb turkeys and I wet brine just overnight, 10-12 hrs. From the very first time I tasted a relative's brined turkey, I have always brined. I do wash the turkey well after it comes out of the brine and pat it dry well and let it dry more and warm up before cooking. Its not too salty and its just moist meat, not runny wet. We tried some of the more complex brines with apple cider, oranges, brown sugar, etc., but just found they made the turkey and the gravy especially too sweet for us, so we prefer a combo of vegetable and chicken broth, coarse kosher salt and thyme, sage, rosemary and savory and water. Its quick and simple, but it produces a flavorful turkey with good gravy, it cooks faster and leaves more time to spend on the other parts of Thanksgiving. My hat's off to the folks that can do fabulous Thanksgiving spreads with seemingly no effort- I sure can't, so I have to make it easier where I can.

I look forward to hearing about the dry brine results.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 7:27 am 
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So Mrs. BGR how was the turkey????


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 8:20 am 
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Good morning!
The turkey was really good. But it wasn't the "greatest turkey ever!"
And it was still a lot of work. Rinsing the bird well enough to knock down
the salt load meant a serious kitchen cleaning right at rush hour. But then
wet brining makes a mess at the same time...

Doing it this way did knock down the work load on Wednesday (I needed that)
but it took up a lot of refrigerator space for a longer time.
The breast meat was probably the most moist I have ever eaten without being
mushy. Tasty, tasty. While at the same time, the dark meat was falling off the
and full of flavor. I have no complaints.

Some of the goodness was starting out with a high quality product. Some was treating
it with respect and careful preparation.

This year timing was really important and I am absolutely pleased with the result.
That said, when everything is normal, I will probably stay with the free-range organic
turkey and go back to a wet brine. It's probably less work for this old gal.
Thank you all for staying with me on this. It was nice having friends along for the
ride.
Mrs. BGR

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 8:43 am 
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So glad the turkey came out well.
If you ever want to try the dry brine again ... First have some helping hands (I feel your pain), then try putting the turkey in a cooler, placed on a rack or in a big pan over the ice. Refrigerator space at the holidays is at a premium.

BeerGodROX wrote:
That said, when everything is normal, I will probably stay with the free-range organic turkey and go back to a wet brine. It's probably less work for this old gal.
Mrs. BGR


I hear ya. I prefer my heritage turkeys in an over night wet brine with lots of herbs.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 9:08 am 
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Thanks for the dry brine report and glad it was a success. Was the turkey saltier then with a wet brine? Could you use pan drippings to make gravy?


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 10:38 am 
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The turkey was saltier but not too much. Nobody added extra salt to their turkey
at the table but everyone loved it the way it was. I would say "just right." but
I was pretty vigorous in my rinse before cooking. I filled the sink with cold
water and put the old girl in and give her a vigorous hand scrub - over, under,
around and through.

As for the gravy... Because of time issues, I had to cheat on that. Last week I
bought a pile of turkey wings. I roasted them in the oven until they were well
lacquered (deep, shiny brown). Then I added pepper, Tillerbee's poultry seasoning
and organic chicken stock and a couple of bay leaves to the wings in my stock pot.
I simmered them on low with no lid most of a day. After straining, what was left
was gravy stock perfection. Made the house smell good, too.
Yesterday I made a medium-dark roux and made gravy as usual while the turkey cooked.
I saved all of the pan drippings and they are in the refrigerator waiting for another
adventure... If the dripping are too salty I'll cook potatoes or rice in them.
Mrs. BGR

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 12:44 pm 
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I typically do my gravy in a similar way. I like to have it made a day or two ahead of time.

BeerGodROX wrote:
If the dripping are too salty I'll cook potatoes or rice in them.
Mrs. BGR


Good idea!!


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 1:12 pm 
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BeerGodROX wrote:
Last week I
bought a pile of turkey wings. I roasted them in the oven until they were well
lacquered (deep, shiny brown). Then I added pepper, Tillerbee's poultry seasoning
and organic chicken stock and a couple of bay leaves to the wings in my stock pot.
I simmered them on low with no lid most of a day. After straining, what was left
was gravy stock perfection.

Hmm, I never thought to make my gravy ahead of time, good idea. The kitchen is always so hot when the turkey comes out of the oven and with all the other stuff cooking, I always dread making the gravy and getting all steamy just before dinner.

I forgot I posted poultry seasoning in the Pinecam Cookbook. I used up my store of this in my stuffing this year and will be making more. I also use this seasoning mix with my homemade turkey soup. I can my soup without salt or seasonings and add that when we go to eat the soup, along with soup noodles (the Polish way of eating soup).

BeerGodROX wrote:
I saved all of the pan drippings and they are in the refrigerator waiting for another
adventure... If the dripping are too salty I'll cook potatoes or rice in them

I also saved what the drippings I didn't use in my gravy. I never thought to use it to cook potatoes or rice - I'll try that this year, sounds yummy. Thanks for the idea!


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Interesting poultry blend TillerBee!! Nutmeg, huh? I can't wait to try it. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh turkey
Post Posted: Nov 24, 2017 1:43 pm 
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Yes. I also discovered that nutmeg added to a beef stew adds great flavor. The hidden ingredient. :)


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