forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Tue 20 Nov 12 11:40am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

i think I am right in thinking that this Thursday is Thanksgiving in America.

I know that the traditional meal is Turkey and also Pumpkin Pie is cooked for desert .

I was wondering if that is what you will all be cooking for Thanksgiving , or will you be cooking anything different ?

I remember Eddie , when he was here on the forum telling us that he was impressed with the turkey after he had brined it .

This is not usually done in the UK , it does not usually to get a mention on the British TV cooking shows , how do you go about brining a turkey , is it worth the extra effort ?

or do you have any special tips that you use when cooking the Turkey.

I only cook a whole turkey at Christmas time , in recent years I have cooked the Turkey slowly overnight as I have forund that with many households cooking at much the same time the power supply is lower than normal. This works well and frees up the oven for cooking the roast veg later in the day.
Once the turkey is in the oven it self basted as I make a sort of aluminium foil tent to roast it in, so it needs no attention at all and always perfectly cooked .
The only issue that I have with cooking the turkey with this method is that you have to wake up to that smell of roasting turkey which for me as a veetarian is something that I really do not like , but to my family , it just smells like Christmas is happening !

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#2 Tue 20 Nov 12 2:10pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

Nice tip on the turkey.

I am not a fan of cooking a whole turkey.  I like it divided up in parts so that I can control the cooking time of each piece.  Mainly because if you overcook the breast it dries out.  I can remove the breast when it is done and let the legs/thighs continue to cook as they need to. I do not brine and never had it but I hear good things about it.  The trick is to get the right ration of sugar to salt and brine it for the appropriate amount of time.  Way too much chemistry to ensure success for me. 

Other typical side dishes for us are gravy, stuffing (I am a FIRM believer in cooking stuffing outside the bird), mashed sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce, glazed ham, corn pudding, apple pie and pumpkin pie. 

I also make a refreshing salad with shaved fennel, shaved apple, toasted pecans, pommegrante seeds and a dressing made with lemon juice, orange juice, and olive oil.

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#3 Tue 20 Nov 12 3:00pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

I'll make a turkey breast; cornbread stuffing with nuts, apples and sausage; mashed potatoes; gravy; cranberry sauce; green beans sauteed with shallots and  pumpkin mousse.  I want to make stock with the bones for soup and for using with leftovers.

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#4 Tue 20 Nov 12 4:11pm

ANN

Forum champ
From North Carolina
Member since Thu 15 Jul 04

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

We will have a turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans, rolls and pumpkin pie.  My daughter and I are dividing the cooking this year so more may pop into the menu.

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#5 Wed 21 Nov 12 11:04am

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

I'd forgotten Thanksgiving was coming up. It's not traditional here, but I do like stealing other people's holidays. It makes it  very low-pressure because there are no expectations. We had a Thanksgiving night last year and we did turkey cooked in bits - roasted the crown, slow-cooked then fast-roasted the legs - plus roasted squash, sweetcorn, mashed potatoes and gravy.

To be honest, the piecemeal turkey method turns out well, but it's a lot of hassle to me. Last year I did a turkey in the slow cooker for a pre-Christmas party and it was great, literally plop it in and forget it.  Takes about five hours, comes out nice and moist, and you can brown it in the oven for about 20min just before the roast potatoes go in, then leave it to rest. You need an enormous slow cooker (mine is a 6.5 litre CrockPot) and the biggest turkey you can do is about 9 pounds, but a 9 pound turkey will feed a lot of people and it's just a very low-stress way of doing it.

Edit to add you get a good amount of great stock out the bottom of the slow cooker from doing a turkey like this, really top-quality stuff. However, it doesn't have that roasted flavour. If you want that, you'll need to pre-roast your turkey in a very hot oven for 15min before putting it in the slow cooker. Alternatively, use chicken wings to make the gravy, Jamie-style, and keep the slow-cooker stock for soup. Just don't throw it away. It's amazing. Real gelatine stock - sets solid if you let it cool.

Last edited by hippytea (Wed 21 Nov 12 11:07am)

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#6 Wed 21 Nov 12 11:26am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

I have "adopted" a young US gentleman who has permanent residency here and is applying for dual citizenship.

I asked him last weekend if he had anything planned for "next Thursday" (now tomorrow). He looked at me blank faced.

I'm making him pumpkin pie.

I did have several recipes for brining turkey. They seem to have been lost in my relocation. If you Google it and go to a reputable site, they will put you straight. Large pan/pot/bucket and salt and water is what I remember most.

I admit that I've never brined but I know many who swear by it. I think I managed to keep the moisture in the turkey by pre-ordering from a reputable poultry shop and by covering the turkey in fatty bacon and tenting it in foil until the final "brown off" time.

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. Wrong season for one thing plus the history isn't shared/ recognised. Would make more sense here in April/May.

I used to do a whole turkey for Christmas and enjoyed the ritual (temperature aside). But now we go down the seafood and salads route. Often do a boned, rolled and stuffed turkey breast for New Years Eve, though but I serve it cold on New Years Day with more seafood and more salads and bits and pieces.

Last edited by Maree (Wed 21 Nov 12 12:29pm)


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#7 Wed 21 Nov 12 1:15pm

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

We don't have the history, either, but any holiday which glorifies mashed potato is OK with me. It's sadly underrepresented in festival fare.

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#8 Wed 21 Nov 12 1:32pm

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

Mashed potatoes don't cut it here in late Spring wink , at least in this household where we are all both fatophobes and carobophobes wink.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#9 Wed 21 Nov 12 2:18pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

hippytea, your braised turkey sounds interesting. I guess it can be recreated in the oven keeping the bird covered completely because I don't have a slow cooker and don't ever plan on having one.  It sounds a bit of a soggy mess because we all like crisp skin, but I guess giving it 20min uncovered should do the trick.

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#10 Wed 21 Nov 12 2:26pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: What will you be cooking for Thankgiving ?

When I make chicken soup, I take the legs/thighs out when done and crisp the skin under the broiler (salamander).  The breast skin is pretty delicate and tears and falls off the meat.  I suppose it's a bit more firm on a turkey, but that would be my concern, to keep it intact so when you do crisp under high heat, it's covering the meat well . . .

eta:  Will definitely try your method HT as I'd like to make turkey stock . . . and will get extra turkey this year as the price is the lowest right now or right after the holiday.  We waited a bit late to shop!  May have to get a frozen bird and put it under running water.

Last edited by MsPablo (Wed 21 Nov 12 4:13pm)

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