November 26, 2010

Turkey Day Redux

Our Thanksgiving was perfect - good food, friends and family. I worked my butt off in the kitchen (if only that were really possible) while hubby and charming children cleaned. The table was set with a linen tablecloth my mom gave me - very elegant (thanks Mom!).

I made the turkey, potatoes and supplied rolls and pies. In-laws brought stuffing, green beans and sweet potatoes. Friends brought cranberry relish (Harry & David - fantastic!) and a cranberry-jello-pineapple-green apple-walnut salad which I'm still craving today. The 16 lb turkey was arctic-bred from Trader Joe's. Did you know the arctic is the top turkey producing state?! I am a big believer in brining - it gives so much flavor and moisture. I either buy already brined or do it myself. TJ's did not disappoint. To impart even more flavor (and the intention of making perfect gravy), Joe was stuffed with an onion, carrots, celery, fresh thyme and rosemary. I used a hybrid of the Pioneer Woman's roasting technique and my own - covered in foil 3 hours at 275 degrees and then basted with butter and dry marsala wine every half hour at 375 degrees (no foil). PDub did not give a total roasting time so I was a bit nervous but it worked out to be 4 1/2 hours which was perfect. Alas no photo of the most perfectly browned bird you've ever seen. If I do say so myself. By the time that opportunity came along we were all too hungry to wait for a photo opp. We have barely any turkey left - we all like white meat and made quick work of that as none of us had eaten breakfast and by 2:00pm were all ravenous. The quest for perfect gravy was not attained. The bottom of my pan was so thick with wine that I didn't feel like I had enough turkey juices to do a gravy justice. Thank goodness for jarred roast turkey gravy and the grocery store being open on Thanksgiving! The potatoes were undercooked (boiled them for what seemed like 45 minutes for pete's sake and the one I taste-tested was super soft). No problem - I fixed by mounding in a baking dish and baking after the turkey was out resting.

I purchased clover leaf rolls from a bakery and was disappointed. Perhaps I should have warmed them more. The pumpkin pie from the same bakery was fabulous -I may never make my own again. I'm off to make a turkey-cranberry-stuffing-potato-white cheddar sandwich. Heaven!

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