Saturday, November 28, 2009

Projects-Roasting a Turkey

My practice turkey

I'll admit, I'm a decent cook. But I'm a "safe" cook, if that makes any sense. I don't cook risky things, (grill meat, bake fancy cakes, decorate cakes, you get the idea). So a few years ago I attempted my first turkey when we hosted Thanksgiving -- and it was a true disaster. I was intimidated in the first place. Then the turkey didn't thaw completely and so when it came time to cook it, it didn't cook completely. Luckily the breast meat was done and my dad had brought a second turkey so Thanksgiving dinner wasn't entirely ruined. But I was disturbed by the half-raw turkey sitting in my roasting pan. And even more disturbed that I failed big time.

So this year we hosted again and had a guest list of 23 people, including a few people that would be scrutinizing my every cooking move. A started to panic several weeks ago and begged my sister, who is an amazing cook and tries "risky" meals all the time, to send me detailed instructions for roasting a turkey. I have had her turkey before and it was excellent and I know she's been working on perfecting her own recipe for a few years! A few days ago her turkey recipe and play-by-play instructions showed up in my email box. I immediately went to Costco and purchased two fresh turkeys: one for the big day and one so I could practice. Then I went to the store to buy all the supplies. After the boys went to bed I set out to practice. I'm so glad I did because six hours later (at 2:00 in the morning) I pulled a gorgeous turkey out of the oven. G and I dug into it right then and feasted on our success!

A week later, this time with our guests arriving in a few hours, we repeated the brining process, stuffed the bird with all sorts of fruits and vegetables and waited to see if she would come out of the oven as moist as the first did. My sister's instructions said that if done correctly the guests would experience Nirvana. I'm not sure if I'd go that far, but it was fantastic, if I do say so myself. Lets put it this way: It was a very happy Thanksgiving!

* In case I made this seem like the turkey was all my doing, I had a ton of help from G and of course the main credit goes to Myndi for her recipe. THANKS!


R said...

It was juicy and tasty. Well executed, with an assist to Myndi!

Nicki said...

I've brined a turkey before but never stuffed it with fruits and vegetables...yum!