November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey

Not my bird, but thank you internet!
I cannot believe we are pretty much halfway through November, which means that Turkey Day is less than two weeks away.

I've been asked to make the family bird a couple of times and I love to do it.  It's taken me years to develop my own personal style of cooking a turkey which I've developed from a mish-mash of recipes I've attempted over the years.  Come this time of year our local grocer store likes to give away birds if you spend a certain amount of money with them, which I would normally be doing anyway, so we end up with an extra bird or two.  This is just the situation I need to get my cook on.

My wife Carolyn is the only other survivor of my attempt to do a Turkey with 40 cloves of Garlic.  That was....interesting, and quickly dismissed for this recipe.  I've been asked a couple of times how to do this bird and the approach is really two-fold.  First there is my spice rub, and the second is just the cooking method.  The recipe is for one bird, but I tend to make a large batch of spice rub and keep it for future use.  Pretty sure I still have enough for a couple of turkeys.

Spice Rubbed Turkey Roast
Brine thawed turkey (if using frozen) in a solution of 1C salt (I prefer Kosher) to 1G water for 24 hours.  Make sure the turkey is completely submerged in the brine and that the bird is refrigerated.  I usually use a new and cleaned 5 gallon plastic bucket, which fits in my refrigerator. 

Drain and rinse well.  You can let the bird drain up to 24 hours as long as it stays refrigerated.  A few hours will suffice though.

Prepare spice mixture.  Toast until smokey (3-5 minutes):

1 ½ T coriander seeds
1 T cumin seeds
1 T whole Allspice
2 T Mustard Seeds

Grind then add:
3 T sweet paprika
2 T ground ginger
1 T ground dried thyme
1 t ground cayenne
1 t ground cinnamon

Stir well and mix 1 T of rub with 1 ½ t of oil.  Apply rub/oil mixture to breast under skin.  Rub rest of turkey with spice rub mixture. 

Place upright in roasting pan and place/layer the contents of a 12 to 16 ounce package of bacon across the top of the bird.  Get the cheapest (fattiest) bacon you can for this.  Cover the entire top of the bird with cheesecloth and cook as directed due to weight/size of the turkey.

1/2 hour before the bird is expected to be finished, remove the cheesecloth and bacon strips.  The bacon will often come up easily with the cheesecloth.  Cook for the last half hour uncovered to help brown the top.   

Brining the bird and then using the bacon keeps the meat nice and moist.  The bacon will be a bit spicy and should be discarded when it is removed from the turkey, but I usually end up eating some anyway.

1 comment:

Bethany said...

I have made Chris's Turkey many times Yum Yum Yum. but dont toss the bacon when done chop it up and put it in the green bean caserol.