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Thanksgiving Prep/Planning

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by luck.ofthe.draw, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. Multifarious5

    Multifarious5 VIP Whale

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    Question two, sorry guys, now to cry "fowl" but any favorite tips for roasting the turkey in an open roaster? I had the old-school granite-look oval roaster that flat is way too much of a PITA.

    I bought an open roaster this year. I may or may not spatchcock, but am not used to cooking the turkey "open" during the whole cycle. Do I need to do the aluminum foil tent until the end?

    Parchment roasting bag?

    Or just a good amount of butter and basting? (I am not bringing this year as I went for a cheapo turkey with just 3 of us.)

    I know to twine the wings and legs to keep them from touching the sides, but just want to be careful on making sure there is a nice golden crust, but not dry inside.

    Thanks all, and apologies on two posts. I just LOVE Thanksgiving and am getting really excited! We have so many great cooks on here, I figured who else better to advise for "live" feedback versus just formal recipes! :feedme:
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 4:08 AM
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  2. Basil

    Basil VIP Whale

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    Personally, I use red potatoes, and add lots of butter, some sour cream or greek yogurt, and garlic powder. Use a hand mixer for the mashing, and it is on the thicker side, but that's what I'm looking for to hold up to the gravy.

    As for the turkey, I start it at a high temp (450) for about 20-30 minutes, then down to 350 for the rest. Only use foil once it starts browning at the end to prevent it from getting too dark, and use it strategically on the parts that are getting too dark (generally the wings about an hour to an hour and a half before it's done, breast half an hour to an hour, but it's really all visual). I don't use a bag, and do some basting although I'm not sure how much benefit there actually is to it. I do rub the bird down with some olive oil before seasoning, and add a little bit of broth to the roasting pan at the beginning, which is more to prevent the juices from burning early on before they reach a critical mass so that doesn't happen.

    For me, moisture comes from a couple of things: 1) brining and 2) carving. Carving it wrong can dry out the moistest bird. Remove the breast whole from the bird, then lay out and carve against the grain. Don't carve them too thin, either. And please don't carve thin slices with the grain at the table (like the stereotypical thanksgiving pictures). That will dry it out horribly.

    Hope this helps. Here's a pic from last year if that helps with what I mean about carving:

    IMG_1837.JPG
     
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  3. ken2v

    ken2v That was awesome

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    On the spuds, for this we use russets (all not skinned), roasted garlic, butter, Mexican crema and a liberal application of salt and pepper. Smash by hand and finish with scallions if desired.

    We've used every method: high heat roast, normal roast, fried, inside a buttered kraft paper bag, barbecued, grilled -- we grill almost exclusively now. We never baste or truss. Wet or dry brine.

    Basil. is spot on on the carving. Cut the breast off whole, cross cut from there; don't slice the Norman Rockwell way.
     
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  4. alanleroy

    alanleroy Click my avatar

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    I've decided to make an old family favorite side dish this year. One that everybody loves. Wait for it.....Green Bean Casserole! But....I'm kicking it up a notch! Using Fresh Green Beans instead of canned. A cream sauce with grilled sliced mushrooms instead of cream of mushroom soup. A fried onion loaf instead of the Frenches. + Bacon + Slivered Almonds + Cheddar and a hint of red pepper. What could possibly go wrong?
     
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  5. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

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    @Multifarious5 welcome to the partyyyy!

    I prefer Yukons for holiday tatoes, always always. One time I switched to Russets and was disappointed. This is my go-to recipe and I'll be making them tonight! www.bonappetit.com/recipe/extra-buttery-mashed-potatoes/amp

    As for the turkey, I have only done a full turkey twice on my own and always in an open roasting pan. One time I did this recipe, which requires basting and I had to tent the bird midway through with foil:
    https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/a-simple-roast-turkey

    I too am looking for insight in how to cut the turkey! I've got 2 legs and smoked thighs this year. :)
     
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  6. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

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    I am intrigued, as an onion lover....what is this "fried onion loaf" you speak of?
     
  7. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I don't love white potatoes (my irish and german ancestors have disowned me ;-) but when I do mashed, I like Big Martha's recipe or a home version of French Laundry or Robuchon for holidays. For normal, I do whatever potato is on hand, let cook dry after draining to get rid of as much moisture as possible, and I rice.
     
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  8. alanleroy

    alanleroy Click my avatar

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    Onion Loaf is like an amalgamation of Onion Rings held together with pancake batter cooked in a loaf pan. You find them in some Barbeque restaurants. Instead of actually cooking it, I'm going to buy it from a local restaurant and slice it up as a topper for the Green Bean Casserole. At least that's the plan.


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Basil

    Basil VIP Whale

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    Someone I work with just sent me this recipe
    https://www.marthastewart.com/353184/perfect-roast-turkey
    Interesting idea- basically, instead of using a baster and watching the liquid flow right off the turkey, you soak a cheesecloth in the basting liquid and drape it over the turkey. I may give this a try. If it works, maybe I will become a master baster. :whistle:
     
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  10. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    I got turned on to ricing my potatoes after watching an episode of Breaking Bad, believe it or not.
     
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  11. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I've never watched breaking bad, but since I don't love potatoes BUT always liked fake mashed, I thought as smooth as possible might get me to eat them more. It does! Hubs appreciates it when I make. I've done once or twice in the stand mixer and in addition to the lumps, if you let it run too long, potatoes get gluey. So ricing is a winner in my kitchen!

    Martha made her Thanksgiving turkeys on last week's Martha Knows Best - one fried, one smoked :)
     
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  12. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    https://tv.getyarn.io/yarn-clip/e73ef6ad-a7bc-4182-ae54-4d832cbc544a

    Doesn't do it justice. The people at the table are enthralled by Skyler's mashed potatoes. Her sister, the klepto, wants to know how to do it. Skyler tells her the secret is to rice the potatoes and then mash lightly. Skyler, preoccupied because she has just found out that Walter is Heisenberg, stands up from the table and walks fully clothed into the swimming pool.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 10:06 AM
  13. ken2v

    ken2v That was awesome

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    On the spud thing, work with it, experiment. There is no need for one method and type and one only. Or consider a gratin some time. Or twice-baked? Go with purple new potatoes some time and good old russets another. It's as with these turkey techniques; you won't really know until you've been around the block, so to say.
     
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  14. Catzilla

    Catzilla VIP Whale

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    We smoke our turkey in the Traeger. My preferred salads are green with shrimp and homemade potato salad. Vegetable of choice, grilled asparagus. Red potatoes. Stuffing and gravy. A relish tray, cheese/cheese balls and crackers, cranberries and sometimes a ham. Dessert is pumpkin, apple and/or cherry pies. There are only 2 of us, so a couple days after Thanksgiving DH strips all the meat off the bird and I freeze it. It eventually becomes turkey noodles or cat food. :D
     
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  15. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    This is the God's honest truth. I'll take pics when the time comes.

    Turkey lunch meat.

    Package of dry turkey gravy.

    Instant mashed potatoes.

    Frozen corn with a cut up jalapeno for the hell of it.

    Make the gravy. Always use a little bit less water than what the package calls for. As with everything in life, you can add but you can't subtract.
    After the gravy thickens up, add the lunch meat and heat through.
    Make the instant mashed potatoes. Again, add less liquid than what is called for. If they are too stiff, add a teeny bit of milk at a time until you get it right.
    Cook corn and 1 medium jalapeno. (I picked 4 quarts of jalapenos from one bush, which was half a bush after Hurricane Isais came through.
    Put the whole shebang on a plate, a real one, it's a special occasion.
    Wash it down with a Bud long neck.
    Badda-boom-badda-bing! Thanksgiving dinner.
     
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  16. Catzilla

    Catzilla VIP Whale

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    @Breeze147 I make that sometimes, but instead of the potatoes I use a slice of buttered sourdough bread. Bread and gravy was a staple when I was a kid. Throw a vegetable on the side...good stuff.
     
  17. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    My local Aldi had plenty of Butterball Turkeys this year, but some of the other stores looked a bit picked through. So this year, like every year it will be the same: 20 lb Turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, sour cream mashed potatoes (russet), green bean casserole (fresh beans), corn, and sweet potato casserole.

    This is made by roasting sweet potatoes in the oven for about 40 mins, peeling and mashing with sugar, vanilla, an egg, heavy cream, cinnamon, butter. Pack that into an oven proof dish, then top with a mix of chopped pecans, a little flour, butter, brown sugar and bake for about 45 minutes.
     
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  18. Ten_On_The_End

    Ten_On_The_End High-Roller

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    I've become a fan of oven turkey bags. The secret is to let the bird sit in the fridge uncovered for at least a day to dry the skin. I tried deep frying a few years ago but there are no drippings to make gravy, there is no inside stufffing, and you end up with a boatload of expensive used oil with nowhere to put it. I buried it in the woods after it sat in the garage all winter. It was delicious but not practical, at least for me. YMMV.
     
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  19. ken2v

    ken2v That was awesome

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    Adding dill buttermilk biscuits to the mix.
     
  20. Multifarious5

    Multifarious5 VIP Whale

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    Basil thank you SOOOOO much! That is EXACTLY what I want the bird to look like. On carving, don't worry, that is exactly my approach, and the size I go for. I grew up with electric knives. But years ago, did the whole disection carve before you bring it to the table, with a regular knife vs electric (including removing the whole breasts and slicing on a cutting board). Very fast when you get used to it, and none of the jagged dry pieces. Truly a beautiful bird Basil, thank you SOOO much!

    Thanks so much Ken!!!! The crema sounds great. I've done a lot of potatoes and finally settled on Yukon gold the last few years (I do au gratin, hassleback etc for other meals) but MIGHT try either two this year, or a blend. We'll see, and these are great tips!

    Always amazing post Luck, and ANYTHING you make will be fabulous!!! I loved the pics of the turkey stock btw!!!!

    Ps @Basil thank you SO much forvrhe second post. I was eyeballing a buttered cheesecloth recipe (https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/butter-blanketed-turkey-7182863 ) as it seems like a great idea on moisture, but that's soooo much butter, and I'm already using a ton elsewhere. I love the idea of chicken/turkey stock instead of butter. I might just try this!

    And thank you all for such AMAZING posts and tips! I'll definitely be going back to all of these gems as my recipes firm up. And @Basil, again that turkey pic is dancing in my head....truly spectacular!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 9:45 AM