We ended up going to Noel's folks' place in Nashville for Thanksgiving after their plans to visit us fell through. We had a great time and a delicious dinner. But I missed one of my favorite activities of the holiday season -- cooking a turkey.
Luckily Christmas dinner is another perfectly delightful excuse for roast turkey. And just as good as the turkey is what comes after: turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazzini, turkey leftovers of all kinds, white and dark.
I wouldn't be so enthusiastic about roast turkey if the roast turkey I make didn't kick all kinds of hiney. Year after year it's not only the centerpiece of the table, but also a high point of the meal. You can't say that about every holiday turkey. It's juicy and redolent with sage and rosemary and crispy, golden brown skin.
I would love to take credit for this annual magnificence. But the truth is that it's in no way due to any singular genius or skill on my part. I just follow Alton Brown's recipe for brined turkey to the letter. It's foolproof. It was perfect the first time I tried it, and it's been perfect every time since. Brine overnight, cook at high heat for 30 minutes to brown the skin, then at 350 with the breast covered with a foil shield until the interior temp hits 161, rest for 30 minutes. Bing bang boom. Everybody sings your praises.
If you love a turkey dinner as most as we're all supposed to -- or if you've ever wished you could meet a turkey worthy of the tradition -- give it a try. I guarantee success, because if I can do it, anybody can.