Different Ways to Cook a Turkey, Along With Recipes


Each year, people across the country sit down around the table on Thanksgiving to eat turkey, one of America’s favorite festive birds. Although most of us are used to eating turkey that has been roasted in an oven, there are many different ways to cook a turkey that you might not know about. If you would like to test out a new way to prepare turkey this holiday season, try one of these 5 turkey cooking techniques.

1. Brining

Regardless of how you decide to prepare your turkey, one of the best ways to get a flavorful bird is to brine the turkey first. Brining adds moisture and flavor to the meat, preventing it from drying out. It takes anywhere from 10 to 24 hours to brine a turkey.

You’ll need a container large enough to hold your turkey and fully submerge it in brine, as well enough room to refrigerate the container. Brine is made with table salt dissolved in water and seasonings, such as herbs, garlic, honey, brown sugar, chili peppers, and molasses.

2. Oven Roasting

Oven roasting is by far the most popular way to cook turkey, but everyone has a different opinion about the best way to oven roast a turkey. The typical process of roasting a turkey consists of thawing the turkey, stuffing it, and sticking it into an oven for a few hours. Many people also elect to cook the stuffing separately rather than in the cavity so that the meat roasts more evenly and potential sanitary concerns are avoided.

Since the outcome of oven roasting can result in dry, stringy, and tasteless meat for the unpracticed cook, there are a number of methods to help ensure the turkey remains moist. Some people recommend deconstructing the turkey and roasting the parts separately to ensure that the white meat is as tender as the dark meat. Another option is to place the whole turkey into the oven when it is completely frozen and solid for a perfectly browned, tender, and moist bird.

Yet another alternative is to roast the turkey upside down, or in other words, breast-side down. When you cook a turkey breast-side down, the skin on the breast does not get too brown and the juices from the turkey moisten the breast while the turkey cooks.

Oven temperatures will vary, but should be set at no lower than 325° F. Cook times will also vary by size of bird, as well as whether or not the bird is stuffed. An unstuffed 16 to 20 pound turkey will take 5 to 5-1/2 hours to cook. The meat can be brined, seasoned or injected with marinades and can also be basted throughout the cooking process, in order to help to keep the bird moist.

3. Deep-frying

Deep-fried turkey has become popular in recent years because of its crispy texture and tender, delicious interior. However, stories abound of people who have started house fires or injured themselves by deep-frying turkeys at home.

Deep-frying a turkey over the stove can be dangerous, but you can use an electric fryer to minimize risks. When deep-frying a turkey, either use a fresh turkey or make sure that the turkey is completely thawed. Add peanut oil to a fryer, but do not exceed the maximum fill line. Preheat the oil in the fryer to 350° F. You should not stuff a turkey when deep-frying. Cook the stuffing separately.

Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and flavor it with seasonings, injections or marinades while the oil is heating. When the oil is heated, lower the turkey into the fryer and make sure that it is fully submerged. Cook it for 3.5 minutes per pound. When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and let it drain on paper towels.

4. Grilling

Grilling is not a traditional way to cook a turkey, but it creates a tender, juicy bird with a crisp exterior. Remove giblets from the turkey and stuff the cavity with onions, herbs, spices, lemon wedges, and vegetables. Tie the legs together with a kitchen string. Spread softened butter and salt and pepper on the turkey skin and place the turkey breast-side up on the grill in a rectangular metal or foil drip pan. Cover the grill and cook the turkey for 11 to 14 minutes per pound. Make sure you have plenty of additional charcoal and somewhere to light the coals off the grill. Continue brushing the turkey with melted butter or basting sauces to keep it moist while it cooks.

5. Smoking

Smoked turkey is tender and flavorful. It takes 30 to 40 minutes per pound to smoke a turkey. Avoid smoking too large of a turkey because it can increase the risk of food contamination. To smoke a turkey, you need a meat thermometer, smoker, and good hardwood. Hardwoods that add a nice flavor to smoked turkey include hickory, oak, cherry, and apple. Use a kettle grill as a smoker, and build a fire that holds a steady temperature of around 235° F. Plan on smoking the turkey for about 30 minutes per pound. Brine the turkey before smoking, and use dry rub or brush olive oil on the skin to give the meat more moisture and flavor.

While all of these Thanksgiving turkey tips can result in juicy, tender meat, no matter how you decide to cook your turkey, you will need to make sure the bird reaches an internal temperature of at least 165° F in order to be safe to eat (United States Department of Agriculture). Test the temperature of the turkey in two different places, but not too close to the bone, and let it rest for at least 15 minutes after it is done so that the juices can settle. Try one of these five different ways to cook a turkey today, and change up the taste of your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Recipe

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moms_roast_turkey/

 

Recipe

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1788640/roast-turkey-with-pecan-sausage-and-chestnut-stuff

 

Recipe

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1788639/italianstyle-turkey-crown-with-roast-garlic-and-

 

Recipe

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/995640/roast-turkey-with-sage-and-onion-butter-and-marsal

 

Recipe

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4960/cider-roast-turkey

 

Recipe

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8360/roast-turkey-with-chestnut-stuffing

My Kids and Grandchildren


I had been having a very rough week, so when my daughter and her family invited me over, I jumped on it. It was fantastic. A real dose of medication for my soul. My daughter and her husband are very good cooks.

My daughter made all soft foods which I very much appreciated since I have that bad tooth. She made  home-made chicken pot pie. Along with that she also made home-made dinner rolls and cupcakes with blue frosting.

I was in heaven. I don’t eat very well and I realize it. I think it is hard to find fun and interesting food ideas when dining for one. It is much easier to grab a sandwich, or fry up a couple of eggs. One day this week I had grilled cheese for breakfast.

Eating at their house along with the good company really hit right where I needed it. After supper was over we watched some Christmas movies and then they put up their Christmas tree. I helped decorate by hanging some ornaments until I dropped one. Luckily my daughter knew to give me only ones that wouldn’t break, so no damage done, but I didn’t want to risk breakage, so I sat and watched the rest being completed.

It was pure joy to spend time with family that I love so much. It sort of made me wish I had a tree to put up here at home, but they are pretty expensive, so I will pass up this year, maybe next year.

After the decorating was done, and my belly was on over-load, my son-in-law made his famous Olive bread. I am so in love with it. Crunchy on the crust, warm and melting cheese. I swear if I wasn’t a diabetic I could have definitely eaten more than one piece, even with a full gut.

Looking around their home just plain old warms the soul up. It is comfy and inviting. Makes you never want to leave and of course a big part of me didn’t want to come home to an empty and quiet house.

I spent the night and woke up to a hot, steaming cup of coffee. What a way to start the day, coffee with a good daughter. I am home now and I am keeping in my front of my mind that she gave me good news. I get to go home for Thanksgiving. I will be spending my Thanksgiving with my two sons and their families this coming Saturday and Sunday. I can’t wait. There is nothing better in my life, than my kids and grandchildren. Life suddenly is looking up. For today, Sunday, I am putting my Parkinson’s disease on hold and the fact I need a job. There is always tomorrow to think about that. I am just going to treasure the memories I just made.me, nov 14

Thanksgiving Traditions Plus Killing and Dressing Your Bird


Since that time to stuff our faces and take naps after filling our bellies; I thought you may find it interesting to see how traditions are  for other people. I added some unusual facts in this too, for your information.

http://www.11points.com/Misc/11_Interesting_Facts_About_Popular_Thanksgiving_Traditions

The Pilgrims may not have eaten turkey… but they definitely ate a ton of shrimp and deer. At the first Thanksgiving — 1621 in Plymouth — there’s no hard evidence that anyone ate any turkey.

Thanksgiving wasn’t an official public holiday until Lincoln. This is pretty incredible, and I had absolutely no idea. Thanksgiving wasn’t an official public holiday until Lincoln took a break from, ya know, Civil War to make it one in 1863.

historical evidence doesn’t make any reference to cranberry sauce until 1663

 

http://hearinghealthmatters.org/hearinginternational/2011/thanksgiving-a-worldwide-tradition-for-centuries/

The Ancient Greeks held an autumn festival for three days known as Thesmosphoria.  It was celebrated to honor the Goddess Demeter, the deity of food grains. The festival was also related to fertility. Fertile married women would build a home for the Goddess to stay in the first day and equipped it with all the comforts of Ancient Greek society. These fertile women purified their souls and body by keeping a fast on the second day in her honor and then on the third day prepared a great feast.  Since Thesmosphoria came around harvest season, the specialties of the table included first fruits of the season, plump pigs, seed corn delicacies and yummy cakes.

In Rome Cerelia was celebrated on October 4thannually to honor Ceres, the Goddess of Corn. Offering made to Cerelia included the first fruits of the harvest and pigs.  Other highlights of Cerelia were a grand feast music, parades, games and sports.

The Chinese festival that resembles the US version of Thanksgiving Day is known as Chung Ch’ui. Chung Ch’ui is a three-day harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the 8th Chinese month and was believed by the Chinese to be the birthday of the moon. The specialty of the festival is its round and yellow ‘moon cakes’ with an image of rabbit on them. The Chung Ch’ui feast featured roasted pigs and first fruits of the harvest. A Chinese legend has that anyone who sees flowers falling from the moon on this day is blessed with a good fortune.

The Jewish harvest festival is known as  ‘Sukkoth’.  For more than 3000 years, the autumn festival also known by the names of ‘Hag ha Succot’ or ‘The Feast of the Tabernacles’ and ‘Hag ha Asif’ or ‘The Feast of Ingathering.’  This eight-day long festival is to remind the people of the hardships and sufferings of Moses and the Israelites while they were wandering in the desert for forty years. Succots were actually the makeshift huts or tents built of branches symbolizing the tabernacles of their ancestors. They were used to hang fruits from the roof of these huts such as apples, grapes, corn, and pomegranates.

How Turkeys Hear!

I know that you have been dying to learn how a turkey hears as this will be essential in bagging one in the wild for your Thanksgiving dinner.  Although they do not have ear lobes or flaps to funnel in sound waves, the ears of hens and gobblers are small holes in the sides of their heads and they have very acute hearing. They can home into the calling of another turkey or a hunter, and pinpoint the source of the calls with remarkable precision, often up to a mile away.

For those who are serious about killing and dressing your very own turkey, I have provided a video to help you. Although I am not interested in learning, I did watch the video and was fascinated at the process.