Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Personal Thanksgiving Dinner

My first two years living in Houston, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for a few friends at our apartment/house. The next year, I went over someone else's house for dinner as I am this year, and decided to have a mini turkey dinner for myself so that I could have leftover turkey for sandwiches, yum! So, this year I picked a new recipe for my little turkey and gave it a whirl. It has been the best recipe I've made yet! Completely moist and very flavorful! The recipe is called Poblano and Cilantro Citrus Roast Turkey from Rachel of A Southern Fairytale. Such a great recipe, and hardly any work. Here's how my turkey looked fresh out of the oven:

Poblano and Cilantro Citrus Roast Turkey (adapted from Rachel of A Southern Fairytale):

~12lb turkey

Brine (to soak turkey the day before you cook it-so make sure it is completely thawed a day before you want to serve the turkey):
1/2 gal water
1 gal apple cider
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2C brown sugar
1/2 C Kosher salt
1/4C fresh ground pepper

Rub (applied right before cooking):
2T brown sugar
1t oregano
1 1/2t Kosher salt
1t cumin
1 t cayenne pepper
1t fresh ground black pepper
8 cloves garlic, minced

Flavor Stuffing (placed in the turkey cavity before cooking):
2 poblano peppers, cut in large pieces
1 gala apple, cut in large pieces
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 orange, cut in large pieces

Combine brine ingredients. Remove neck and giblets from turkey cavity. Pour brine into a container (I used an turkey oven bag) and submerge the turkey in the brine. Soak in refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

Remove turkey from brine, pat dry. Combine rub ingredients. Carefully separate skin from the flesh and massage the rub into the turkey beneath the skin. Rub some olive oil on the skin and massage any leftover rub into the skin.

Prepare inside ingredients and stuff the cavity. Cook turkey according to instructions on wrapper, usually about a half hour per pound. I cooked mine at 350F for 4 hours (basting every 30 minutes) before the thick of the thigh reached 180F. I also tented the turkey with aluminium foil after the skin began to brown. Once turkey is finished cooking, remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes to reabsorb some juices.

*Go to the link from A Southern Fairytale to see how to make gravy to go with this turkey (I hate gravy so I passed).

To complement my turkey I also made peppered green beans and duchess potatoes. The potatoes tasted amazing, but I overcooked them and the end result was not as pretty as I would have liked. Here is a picture of my first attempt (I will be making a second attempt very soon):

Duchess Potatoes (from Nicole of Baking Bites)

2lbs russet potatoes
1/2c butter (less is ok for lower fat)
1 lg egg

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel and quarter potatoes in a large pot of boiling water. Cook until tender. Drain and transfer to large bowl. Add butter and seasonings and mash potatoes well. Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes. Mash in the egg until smooth. Transfer potatoes to piping bag and pipe potatoes onto the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

What are you having for thanksgiving?!

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