We hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. Ours was.
We always start with a salute to our bird:
The bird was brined for 13 hours in an apple-juice brine, then slathered with butter and hit heavily with pepper. After that, it was into a 500-degree oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, we inserted a meat thermometer, covered the breast with a double-layer of heavy-duty tin foil, and put it back into a 350-degree oven. That's also when we add the root veetables to the bottom of the roasting pan: rutabagas, turnips, squash.
While the bird was roasting, we had time to make the side dishes. Cody made the Stuffin' Muffins:
We also had time to cook the turkey's heart, liver, gizzard, and neck bone for the giblet gravy.
When the thermometer in the thickest part of the breast reads 161-degrees, the bird comes out. It has to rest for 45-60 minutes, which gave us plenty of time to finish off all the side dishes.
The dogs were really good all day, I think they were hoping for some turkey too. Their hopes were dashed, alas.
To carve, one should remove the legs and wings, extract both sides of the breast from the back bone in one large peice, and then slice it cross-wise.
And...voila! Turkey, mashed potatoes, Stuffin' Muffins, cranberry sauce, Carolyn's family's stuffing with sausage, roasted root veggies, and maple-glazed carrots. A perfect Thanksgiving feast.
We all hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful too.
John P. Needham
November 28, 2013