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Turkey Cookin', Alfresco


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#1 Priscilla

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 08:35 AM

Once again we cooked our Thanksgiving turk in the old Weber, although not on the rotisserie as has been our wont for years previous due to the fact that we were wrestling with a 25-pound Foster Farms from Costco. Rotiss can handle like a 14 pounder, as I recall, and gives excellent results too.

However this year it was not to be, not because we set out to not rotiss, but because at Costco all the turkeys were like 20 lbs. The guy stocking yet more there, trying to keep ahead of us Costcoers and our Costco needs, said they were ordered at the 18-22 lb. spread, and we thought we might risk an eighteener but there wasn't one even that small there, really, nothing smaller than 20. And I read every tag, in that way I have.

So we decided to go to the other extreme, and bought the BIGGEST one in the case at that moment, which was 25+ lbs.

And a very good turkey it was, too, and had g.d. better have been with Ivan and I getting up at effing 3:15 a.m. to stuff, truss, baste, & c. (We needed it to be finished cooking noonish.)

Nice plain bread and veg stuffing, as per Ivan's request this year. I personally like stuffing with EVERYTHING in there, oysters, sausage, h.b. eggs, cornbread, white bread, the whole shebang, plus. I was madly envious of the groovy salt-and-pepper lady ordering up a quart of bulk Western oysters for HER stuffing at Whole Food at the District at Tustin Legacy on Thanksgiving Eve. No bulk Western oysters for me howevah. Wah.

I can report that Lee's day-old baguettes are the PERFECT white bread for turkey stuffing, as I knew they would be.

Good thing the turkey was very good. TONS of leftovers, even sending home lots with guests, just the way we like it!

So... cooking turkey outdoors, by any method... anybody else do it?

#2 Joan

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 02:07 PM

Interesting about the Lee's day old baguettes. Makes sense. I suppose they'd make a pretty decent bread pudding too. I read about some guy who won contests with a bread pudding made out of hot dog buns.

The resident vegan (me) cooked the TDay turkey this year. I dunno, apparently I have "fowl-cooker" stamped on my forehead, as my family also made me cook the Christmas chicken (see the Christmas chicken thread). I modified Russ Parson's LA Times recipe, for our use. Russ Parsons actually modified the Zuni chicken recipe for his use. And round and round she goes, and where she lands, nobody knows.

Anyhoo, I took sea salt and ground up some thyme in it and rubbed that underneath the skin. I salted it the day before TDay. the LAT recipe says you have to start it 3 days ahead of time, but that's if you salt the turkey outside the skin. Because I was salting the meat directly, under the skin and not on top of it, I used less salt. I used about 1 Tablespoon per six pounds of turkey. It was a little less than 2 Tblspns total, because we had an 11 lb turkey.

At the last minute, I also rubbed in some garlic, a knee-jerk reaction that is probably genetically based upon my Korean heritage. Note to self: don't do that again. Garlic overpowers any possible thyme flavor/smell.

My eaters raved about that turkey. I did have a skin issue though. I don't know how to crisp/brown it.

#3 Priscilla

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 02:26 PM

Lee's day-old, ya, in fact, it was musing on how they would make GREAT bread pudding that led me inexorably to how that would also mean good for turkey stuffng. Can't you just see them in bread pudding?

Crispy skin takes a while to develop... esp. with a big moist steamy bird moistening and steaming up the oven. Basting with a fat helps, but seems to me it is mostly a time issue. Rotissing with its autobaste feature results in very nice crisp skin.

#4 Priscilla

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:49 AM

Not a whole turkey, but a whole turkey breast, cut from a so-called self-styled soi-disant "free range" bird by the nice young meat guy at Whole Foods at the District at Tustin Legacy. On the old Weber, fairly gentle indirect heat, salt & pepper, basted w/butter now and again, very good.

You know how you buy something expensive to use up something cheap? Or in this case, free? This turkey meal was designed to help alleviate the small turkey-stock glut in my freezer... turkey stock made from the leavings of turkeys past, which would otherwise have been thrown away. So, like, more than free, free-minus, something like that.

With said turkey stock made risotto with nice De Cecco carnaroli, melting in at the end the remainder of the past Thursday's burrata. Very burrataey, it was, not to mention turkeyey.

Nice salade of tomatoes from the carrot lady, Hass from the friendly citrus guy, arugula from the garden, along with.

#5 Priscilla

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 10:11 AM

Just these past few days, as the froz turkey bodies pile up in the supermarkets, I've been strategizing this year's turkey cooking... it's looking like we'll do a smallish rotissed one in addition to Thanksgiving's actual roasted... not on the same day, but probably over Thanksgiving weekend. Unlike a lot of people, we like turkey.

Also must get to the dread Whole Foods at the District at Tustin Legacy for some turkey parts to make stock in advance of the day so that there is plenty for gravy.

#6 samiam590

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:05 AM

Regarding actually liking turkey, I know how you feel. My family has been known to roast up an impromptu one completely out of season. It's a completely underestimated meat, as are the rest of the poultries---goose, duck, etc.---that don't start with c and end with "hicken." I'm still reeling from the Lee's stuffing...did the stuffing have any inkling of Lee's "so-crisp-it-feels-like-I'm-eating-glass" texture? Not that that's a bad thing.

#7 Priscilla

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:40 AM

Sam, good to hear you say that. Yay turkey! It's a great meat, and makes for such a good cooking experience besides. Doing just one a year a cook doesn't get to branch out and see with what else it is compatible.

The Lee's baguette made a great stuffing... you know how their bread is denser than most baguettes -- this is why it worked. Lots of substantial mie to soak up and involve itself with the other stuffing ingredients. Great texture result.

This year so far in this planning stage I'm vacillating between Lee's again or Cream Pan heavy cream toast (thick slice) bread. The CP heavy cream has a similar extra-dense (but not heavy) interior, for the desired soaking/involvement aforementioned.

Since we're planning to do another turk after Thursday, perhaps I'll get the chance to do both. Our rotissed bird for Thurs will have our patented Asian-influenced rice stuffing inspired by our beloved dental hygienist's recipe. Chestnuts, scallions, like that.

Usually I put one type inside the bird and another out, which is of course dressing not stuffing. But basting with drippings and moistening with turkey broth during its cooking gathers it into the turkey flavor profile.

#8 samiam590

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:56 PM

Cream Pan bread! Oh! That sounds so good! Knowing how bread-sweet it is, I imagine an utterly rich stuff/dressing, but oh man...again, I have to pick myself off the ground, that sounds so wonderful. I'm intrigued by the prospect of rice stuffing too, and especially in the bird...I wonder if the extra starch in rice would makes some positive contributions to the flavor of the bird. I guess that depends on which sort of rice you're intending on using.

#9 DanGarion

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:07 AM

For Thanksgiving we tried the Alton Brown brine recipe and cooked it exactly the way he says too, and it turned out great! Although my wife seems to think the meat didn't have much flavor so now she wants to rub the meat with oil and sage before we put it in the oven too... I'm cooking the bird so I'll just say I did that. My only issue ended up being that somehow the bird was undercooked, I must have placed my probe in the wrong spot, the very bottom of the bird had some undercooked areas, but none of us died and it was the most moist bird I'd ever had. We are cooking another one on Sunday for the family Christmas party and on Christmas for another family Christmas party.

#10 Priscilla

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:13 AM

Wowee that's a lotta turkey! That is good. As I said up there, we like turkey. And it seems we are, indeed, not the only ones!

What is the Alton Brown method? I seem to remember it's a wet brine... dry brining MIGHT convey more flavor to the meat.

Was the cooking method that contributed to your feeling of undercookedness? Probe=one of those leave-in thermometers AB is so fond of?

Better go ahead and do the oil & sage... just sayin'.




#11 DanGarion

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:25 AM

QUOTE (Priscilla @ Dec 16 2009, 10:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wowee that's a lotta turkey! That is good. As I said up there, we like turkey. And it seems we are, indeed, not the only ones!

What is the Alton Brown method? I seem to remember it's a wet brine... dry brining MIGHT convey more flavor to the meat.

Was the cooking method that contributed to your feeling of undercookedness? Probe=one of those leave-in thermometers AB is so fond of?

Better go ahead and do the oil & sage... just sayin'.


Yes wet brine. Veggie stock, brown sugar, kosher salt, peppercorns, allspice berries, candied ginger. And also putting apple, onion, sage, rosemary in the bird during the cooking. No the bird was actually a bit red in some deeper areas of it. And by probe I mean my trusty digital thermometer. smile.gif

The only reason I don't want to also do the under the skin rub is that I don't want it to have too much stuff done to it and be too oily, since we are going to use the drippings for gravy.

#12 Priscilla

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:31 AM

Oh ya, veg stock, I remember that on AB. Probably a judicious amount of oil and sage could be applied without making it oily or overflavored... sage, esp., is SO GOOD with turkey, and a big bird can take some seasoning before it goes over the top.

After this holiday season and all those turks you'll be like the turkey expert! A good thing!

Where do you get your turkeys? Anywhere special? As I wondered over here before Thanksgiving. Our Henry's free-range was good, and the price, esp. for free-range, was DEFINITELY right.


#13 DanGarion

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:18 AM

QUOTE (Priscilla @ Dec 16 2009, 10:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh ya, veg stock, I remember that on AB. Probably a judicious amount of oil and sage could be applied without making it oily or overflavored... sage, esp., is SO GOOD with turkey, and a big bird can take some seasoning before it goes over the top.

After this holiday season and all those turks you'll be like the turkey expert! A good thing!

Where do you get your turkeys? Anywhere special? As I wondered over here before Thanksgiving. Our Henry's free-range was good, and the price, esp. for free-range, was DEFINITELY right.

I got all mine at Albertsons this year, 2 Foster Farms, and a village market or whatever it is.

#14 Priscilla

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:36 AM

The old Weber is stoked and ready to roast.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

#15 DanGarion

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 08:31 AM

Ok this year we got a turkey from The Meat House (Diestel Family Turkey Ranch) http://www.diestelturkey.com/ . Instead of using a brine bag I now have a 5 Gal bucket with lid I use, so much easier that way! I even used home made veggie stock this year. We only got a 17# this year but that was more than enough for 8. Some additional steps I did this year followed the tips from Pioneer Woman Cooks http://thepioneerwom...-after-brining/ to try and keep the saltiness down on the turkey and drippings, it worked out perfectly (rinsed, soaked, let sit dry overnight in fridge)!

Turkey cooked perfect and tasted great this year.

#16 Priscilla

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:44 AM

SO looking forward to this year's turkey(s).

If one or more turns out to not be an alfresco trip, I''ll start a new topic for turkey cooking, indoors.


#17 Priscilla

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 12:17 PM

WAS alfresco, as it turned out.

Resolved: Rotisserie IS the BEST turkey-cooking method!

#18 Priscilla

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 11:06 AM

Did I mention we've cooked 2 additional rotisserie turks since the previous? No?

Well, consider it mentioned!

#19 ivan

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:47 AM

QUOTE (Priscilla @ Jan 2 2012, 11:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did I mention we've cooked 2 additional rotisserie turks since the previous? No?

Well, consider it mentioned!


I'm watching the 2 post-holiday leftover frozen geese up at our local Alb's. When the price drops (which it will... it will), I'm grabbing one. I'm only mentioning it here because I think we should rotisserie it.


#20 Priscilla

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:09 AM

QUOTE (ivan @ Jan 3 2012, 09:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Priscilla @ Jan 2 2012, 11:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did I mention we've cooked 2 additional rotisserie turks since the previous? No?

Well, consider it mentioned!


I'm watching the 2 post-holiday leftover frozen geese up at our local Alb's. When the price drops (which it will... it will), I'm grabbing one. I'm only mentioning it here because I think we should rotisserie it.

Concur, as they say on the internets.