Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turkey Stock and Brine Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Basic Vegetable Stock
For Turkey Brine or Soup
(You need a double recipe for the brine)
(You can buy vegetable stock if you want too, but this is really good).

1 tablespoon olive oil 8 sprigs of fresh parsley (3-4 tsp dried)
1 large onion 6 sprigs fresh thyme (1-2 tsp dried)
2 stalks celery, including some leaves 2 bay leaves
2 large carrots 1 teaspoon salt
1 bunch green onions, chopped 8 cups water
8 cloves garlic, minced

Chop scrubbed vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Remember the greater the surface area, the more quickly vegetables will yield their flavor.
Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, scallions, garlic, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add salt and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain. Discard vegetables.
Other ingredients to consider: mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus (butt ends), corn cobs, fennel (stalks and trimmings), bell peppers, pea pods, chard (stems and leaves), celery root parings, marjoram (stems and leaves), basil, potato parings…Get the idea?

Good Eats Roast Turkey
Recipe Courtesy Alton Brown (My Husbands calls him “my boyfriend”).

For the brine: For the aromatics:
1 cup kosher salt 1 red apple, sliced
1/ cup light brown sugar ½ onion, sliced
1 gallon vegetable stock (double of the 1 cinnamon stick
provided recipe) 1 cup water
1 tablespoon black peppercorns 4 sprigs rosemary
½ tablespoon allspice berries 6 leaves of sage
½ tablespoon candied ginger Canola oil
(I rarely use the ginger)
1 gallon iced water

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (on day like today I just put in the garage). Early on the day of cooking (or late the night before…I always do the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket or ice chest. (You can get food grade buckets from donut shops and bakeries). Place thawed turkey breast side down in a brine, cover and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement or garage) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

A few minutes before roasting heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil. Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 ½ hours of roasting. (Remember fresh turkey speeds this up quite a bit, watch your temperature, loose leg and clear juices). Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

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