Monday, December 26, 2011

Talk turkey

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.

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