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  • Multiple “thank you”s are in order for a great (pre) T-Day dinner for my guests

     mariadnoca updated 2 days, 15 hours ago 6 Members · 14 Posts
  • marilynfl

    November 22, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    I found a small 8.4 “lil turkey” that I was going to inject, but when I read MariaD’s brine with molasses to my guest, she wanted that instead. (I’m going to try the injection test on a chicken).

    Then I used monj’s Make Ahead gravy–using TWO wings that weighted 3.2 lbs! It was great.

    Then, thanks to Paul, I stuffed the inside with lemon & orange and roasted it upside down for the first 45 minutes. I used my ThermoWorks ChefAlarm to warm me when I was getting close to 160 degrees. When the turkey came out, I let it rest for 20 minutes, tested the breast and it was 165 degrees. Score!!

    I piled all the prepared side-dishes into the oven while it was resting: Richard’s Russian mashed potatoes, pureed garnet yams with my caramel, my applesauce, orange cranberry sauce, peas with onions and mushrooms, stuffing, gravy)

    Desserts were apple pie (All Butter crust & local apples) and Melissa Clark’s butternut squash “pumpkin” pie and heavy whipped cream. Both very good.

    So THANK YOU my online friends for giving my childhood friends a great Thanksgiving dinner while they’re visiting here.

  • mariadnoca

    November 22, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    I’m glad it turned out great, but that was monj’s molasses trick! 😁

    • marilynfl

      November 24, 2021 at 11:47 am

      Thank you, Maria. Thanks monj!

      Bonus cheap thrill. I was able to walk out onto my porch and cut off large chunks for fresh thyme stems and sage leaves. First time ever I didn’t spend more on packaged fresh herbs than the meal deserved.

      • monj

        November 25, 2021 at 7:59 am

        Hi Marilyn,

        Happy Thanksgiving–so glad everything worked out and your friends enjoyed all of your hard work! Funny, that make-ahead gravy wasn’t the recipe I actually use. I found an old print out that included wine. Plus, I’m now a convert, having tried cooks illustrated make ahead if you don’t need a ton of gravy (which I always do) the flavor is amazing. Link for those with a subscription. Will try to post recipe over the weekend.

        • mariadnoca

          November 27, 2021 at 11:13 pm

          That recipe is behind a paywall for me —anyone have access?

          • monj

            November 28, 2021 at 1:13 pm

            Hi Maria

            Posted below.

            • mariadnoca

              December 2, 2021 at 9:33 pm

              Thank you!

        • monj

          November 28, 2021 at 1:12 pm

          Here’s the CI recipe-makes 1 quart


          6 cups chicken broth, divided, plus extra as needed

          Reserved turkey neck and giblets
          Reserved turkey trimmings, cut into 1-inch pieces (⅓ cup)

          1 onion, chopped

          1 carrot, chopped

          1 celery rib, chopped

          8 sprigs fresh parsley

          2 sprigs fresh thyme

          2 garlic cloves, peeled

          ½ teaspoon pepper

          ¼ teaspoon salt

          ⅓ cup dry white wine

          4 tablespoons unsalted butter

          5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

          ¼ cup defatted turkey drippings (optional)

          Much of this gravy’s flavor is derived from the trimmed skin and fat plus the neck and giblets of a turkey. Use kitchen shears to cut away extra skin from the neck region (leaving enough to cover the opening) and any loose fat from the cavity. Cut large pieces of skin into 1-inch pieces. If your turkey does not have excess skin or fat, use kitchen shears to snip off the tail and cut it into three or four pieces to use as trimmings. Do not use the liver that is packaged with the giblets. The gravy’s consistency can be adjusted to suit your taste: Simmer longer for a thicker gravy or thin with additional broth for a thinner gravy. This gravy is better with turkey drippings; you can add them either in step 4 or when reheating the gravy. To double the recipe, double all the ingredients including the trimmings and make the stock in two separate pots.

          Bring 2 cups broth, reserved neck and giblets, and reserved trimmings to simmer in Dutch oven over high heat. Cook, adjusting heat to maintain vigorous simmer and stirring occasionally, until all liquid evaporates and trimmings begin to sizzle, about 20 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until dark fond forms on bottom of pot, 2 to 4 minutes longer.

          Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onion, carrot, celery, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, garlic, pepper, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.

          Stir in wine and bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Add remaining 4 cups broth and bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain stock through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl; discard solids. (You should have 3½ to 4 cups stock. Turkey stock can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

          Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in strained stock. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add drippings, if using, and thin gravy with extra broth, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. (Gravy can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks; to reheat, bring to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.)

  • paul

    November 22, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Was the moisture what you wanted?

    • marilynfl

      November 22, 2021 at 8:51 pm

      Yes it was. At least for dinner. We just had left-overs today and the breast was dry. But still it was the best turkey I’ve done. I think the smaller turkey size worked because the weight didn’t smash the breast area.

      And there was a bonus Cracker Jack prize inside: a package of gravy concentrate. However, I’d nailed the early version (I think I’d try to find turkey stock or use less chicken stock next time to keep the intense turkey flavor) so it just went into the garbage. But not before leaking all over my refrigerator.

  • marg-cdn2

    November 23, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    What I do with a turkey instead of turning the big guy upside down is place foil, shiny side out, over the breast for the first 3/4 of roasting.

    Wouldn’t we all like to sit at Marilyn’s table for dinner??!!

    • marilynfl

      November 24, 2021 at 11:49 am

      You’re invited ANY TIME!

      • paul

        November 30, 2021 at 4:39 pm

        Black Friday for me is turkey salad. Love it once or twice a year. Just turkey, celery and black pepper with mayo. I was planning a small turkey and was going to spatchcock it but my wife brought home and 18+lb organic so went with a dry brine (first time doing dry) the day before and I did turn it over and I put some foil on the wings however instead of traditional roasting pan I laid down a bed of onion directly in one of those portable electric ovens, with a few other things and cooked the turkey directly on it. Stuffed with apple, celery, onion, whole garlic, fresh herbs. The breast was very moist. However if you do this method your turkey doesn’t brown so I popped it in the lowest rack of the oven and broiled it a few just to get that traditional look. Not a work of art but the turkey was very tasty.

        • Charley2

          December 1, 2021 at 11:11 am

          That is my chicken salad recipe with added tarragon–and turkey breast works well when making for a huge crowd.

          I don’t have problems with recipes for leftover Thanksgiving ’cause I just want to eat the whole meal again. But we did have one delicious turkey–20# and no brine–just lots of salt and pepper on the skin. Bread stuffing inside. Cooked to done in 3.5 hours (as has been the case for many years now). The breast was juicy/tender even cold the next day. Charleston Receipts recipe for scalloped oysters was unusually good this year. Cranberry orange relish. Pecan pie and a GF hummingbird cake for DD’s birthday.

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