What started as a food blog has morphed into more or less a personal journal. My marriage, my parenting, my life journey is as likely to appear now as my kitchen work... but there's more than one way to feed a family.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Brining the Bird and Other Minor Details
OK. Let's go. Let's do as much as we can in advance so that we can enjoy the day ahead. First, let's brine the hell out of that bird. I've already posted The Pioneer Woman's favorite turkey brine recipe here, so I think what I'm doing in this post is just documenting my timing of the meal prep and deciding how I'll alter things for my purposes.
Now, P-Dub says her recipe is for a 20 pound bird. My turkey is not quite twelve. What I used was the peel of two oranges, 2 c. of apple cider, 5 qts. of water, 1 c. of salt, 1 1/4 c. brown sugar, 4 bay leaves, a fistful of rosemary, 2 T peppercorns and 3 cloves of garlic.
I boiled the brine on Monday, let it cool in the fridge until Tuesday, when I slapped the whole thing, turkey and all, in to a 2 gallon ziplock bag. Just to be on the safe side, I put the bag into the roasting pan. This made it easier to transport to my extra fridge, to be sure, but really, I just didn't trust the edges and corners of the bag to hold up. Lucky for me, because there are juices gathering in that roasting pan from the leaking bag! Can nothing work as it should?
By my calculation, I need to get the bird in the oven by 8:00 AM in order to eat around noon. Today I've assembled the dressing, combining bread, chicken, onion, celery and chestnuts, then slopping it up with a combination of egg and chicken broth.
I've put together all the elements of the dessert: Pumpkin Bread Pudding. I made the pumpkin bread, diced it up, made a pumpkin custard and poured it over all, made a caramel apple sauce for over the top and set it to keep in the fridge. (I taste-tested every one of those elements and cannot wait to try it all together!)
Finally, Sophia set the table and readied it for the big day.