Monday, January 14, 2013

Braised Turkey

Day fourteen of January Blog A Day: Food.

I love food. I love to make it, I love to eat it. 
Some people eat to live, just as the fuel their bodies need to get through life, but that isn't me. 

I live to eat.

I'm sure part of that is my upbringing. I grew up in a family where providing and preparing a meal for someone was the ultimate way of showing that you loved them. My dad would spend hours making us just the perfect dinner, and then packing our lunches for the next day. Our house was never short on food, or on love.

Part of the reason that I started this blog was to blog about food, about recipes, about products I found that I love, about new foods that I discovered. I know that for that to ever actually be successful, I will need a new camera, but I promise I'm working on that. Unfortunately, I don't have it yet, so this recipe was all shot on my 4 year old point and shoot Olympus. Also, this was my first time ever trying to photograph my food and it is quite obvious that I have a lot to learn.

Also, there is no natural light in my kitchen, so I'm not positive what I'm going to do about that!

On to the food!

This recipe is from America's Test Kitchen, but getting it off of their website sometimes requires creating a login, so I will post it here as well.

I know that most people are turkey-d out by this time of year, but the company I currently work for gives out turkeys as part of our Christmas bonus. I think this is silly, because most people eat turkey for Thanksgiving, but they choose to give us whole turkeys in late December. So this is what I decided to do with this year's turkey!

What you will need:

 Salt and pepper
1 cup sugar
1 (5- to 7-pound) whole bone-in turkey breast, trimmed
4 pounds turkey drumsticks and thighs, trimmed
3 onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
6 sprigs fresh parsley
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine

 First things first, you need a giant container to brine your turkey parts in. I used this massive 16 quart pot, because I was going to use it to make the turkey stock with the leftover parts. That will be another post though!

You will want to dissolve 1 cup salt and 1 cup sugar into 2 gallons of cold water. Then submerge your whole bone in turkey breast and drumsticks and thighs. Cover, refrigerate, and brine these for three to six hours.

Toward the end of the brine time, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. 
Then get to chopping your vegetables!

Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. 

Toss onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, porcini, and 2 tablespoons butter in large roasting pan; arrange in even layer.

 Brush turkey pieces with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and season with pepper. Place turkey pieces, skin side up, over vegetables, leaving at least ¼ inch between pieces. 

Roast until skin is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Pour broth and wine around turkey pieces (it should come about three-quarters of way up legs and thighs). 

Place 12 by 16-inch piece of parchment paper over turkey pieces. Cover roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. Return covered roasting pan to oven and cook until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 1¾ to 2¼ hours. Transfer turkey to carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.

The recipe goes on to make a gravy, but I did not choose to do that this time. After you remove the turkey pieces from the pan, there will be a whole lot of broth and vegetables left in there. Strain the broth out and either use it to make gravy, or use it to help out your turkey broth that you will make with the back and wings of the turkey. There is so much deliciousness in there that you simply cannot just throw it away. The vegetables though, those can be tossed at this point. They have served their purpose in life.

Yes, I did use a hot pink cutting board to carve this turkey. 

I served this amazing turkey with a whole bunch of roasted root vegetables. There were carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and onions.

I hope you enjoy!

And that my pictures were not too horribly terrible.

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