Happy Thanksgiving!! Or in Turkey speak…Gobble Gobble! Ironic that we gobble up the one thing that says gobble gobble? Not to get all existential on you or anything. But today is the time to reflect, and say thanks for all the things we are grateful for. Here’s a brief list of the things I am especially thankful for this year:
Family – and the fact that I got to spend this week with the people I love most
Friends – I am a lucky girl to have such great friends
The health and happiness of my family and friends
My grandma - 86 and still the smartest person I know
Glitter - especially the edible kind
My new niece – I miss you already Arli Dylan
Puppies – all of them everywhere
My Bite-Sized readers – my love for you is anything but Bite-Sized
And now, the moment you have all been waiting for…drumroll please…
1 bone-in turkey breast
4 Bay leaves
1/8 cup of Black Peppercorns
½ head of garlic, smashed
¾ cup of sugar
¾ cup of Kosher salt
1 Apple (preferably reddish and sweet)
Butter, and lots of it, at room temperature
1 bag of large carrots, cut into big pieces
3 onions, quartered
The first thing you have to do to ensure a tasty turkey is brine, brine, brine! To make your brine, add 8 cups of water to a stockpot. Then add ½ head of garlic, 1/8 of a cup of black peppercorns and 4 bay leaves. Bring this toa boil. Once the mixtures boils, turn off the heat and add ¾ cup of kosher salt and ¾ cup of sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Add your turkey breast to a brining bag and place the bag in a baking dish. This will prevent any bring leaking in your refrigerator. Once the brine has completely cooled, add it to the brining bag with the turkey. Make sure the entire breast is submerged and then tie to seal. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
When you are ready to cook your bird, preheat the oven to 380 degrees. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat completely dry. Place the sage and rosemary under the skin, stems removed, just leaves.
Place the carrots, turnips and onions in the bottom of your baking dish and place the bird on top of the vegetables. Place the apple in the cavity and then cover the turkey in a very generous amount of butter. Think Paula Deen. Add the leftover herbs to the turkey breast as well.
Place the bird in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the baking dish from the over and cover with foil. Return to the oven and cook for about an hour or until the bird is 160 degrees. This may vary depending on the size of your bird. Once it reaches 160 degrees, remove the foil and let the bird cook until it is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 20 minutes before carving.
While the turkey is resting, it’s time to make the gravy. Remove the veggies from the baking dish and place on the tray you will use to serve the turkey, making sure to preserve the drippings in the pan. In a small saucepan, make a roux. A roux is a combination of flour and fat, which will help to thicken the gravy. Combine 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of butter in the small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a minute or two until the flour has been completely incorporated into the butter. Once the roux is finished, pour in the drippings from the turkey pan. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and warm. Serve with your turkey!
Happy Thanksgiving!! And remember, there will be pictures tomorrow!!