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Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Here in the Deep South, there are a lot of things that are slow-cooked: pulled pork bbq, roux, Chilton County peach cobbler – and even national championship football teams (Roll Tide!), tourist season and sure-faaar, our ay-ccents.

Good things all take time to be done right.

Her heels could afford to be a little higher for the occasion, but these shall do…

And that’s why I’ve been sold for years on cooking our turkey overnight.

At the risk of hosing off germophobes, FDA officials and food/beverage professionals around the world (you know who you are!), I stand by my reasons:

1.) Cooked properly, an overnight-roasted turkey will taste like nothing you’ve ever had on Thanksgiving Day.

Cooked properly = not stuffed, placed upside-down (so all the juices drain into the parts that typically wind up drier) and cooked at a high temperature for the first stage to kill all bacteria. Then turn it waaaaaaay down (250-275 F) – let ‘er rest in a slow heat. Just like we rest hee-yuh in the South (Say-outh – 2 syllables, y’all).

2.) You will get your beauty sleep before the big day (especially important for those of you Black Friday addicts). Bless your thrifty hearts…

3.) The bird cooks itself – once it’s in the oven, you do NOTHING until you wake up – and then, it’s only to take its temperature (165 degrees F ideally). Better to take the bird’s temp than those of the budding flu cases in the nearby environs.

4.) The aroma in the house that builds overnight is simply heavenly – and smacks of all things down home, welcome and love – should you happen to awake before dawn.

5.) You are free to move about the cabin once it’s in – no muss, no fuss.

6.) Upon awakening, and only when you good & well decide to getting around to taking it out, it’s as if your imaginary maid has been hard at work all night – a perfect bird just waiting for carving. Except you needn’t carve – it just falls off the bone. Honest.

7.) The oven is FREE for the rest of the parade of traditional dishes – the sweet potato casserole, pies, green beans, pies, rolls, pies. You get the idea.

For more tips, click here,

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and

here.

There are a few tricks to this, as you can see from the links – one is not to HURRY the process – namely, making sure to roast at a high temp long enough initially so that you can lower the temp for the remainder of the night with a clear conscience so you sleep well and dream sweet, sweet dreams. OH, those sweet dreams!!!

To bag or not to bag? Up to you – we never do, but I slice up a ton of celery, onions, garlic (crushed and minced by my hand on my cutting board, some pieces naturally less minced than others), slather it with olive oil, drench it with cooking wine and the pats of butter where the sun don’t shine, as one link recommended – are key.

Smoke rises from the eastern Damascus suburbs of Arbeen, after what activists say was an airstrike by a MIG fighter jet, November 8, 2012. Picture taken November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Omar al-khani

reuters.com

Whoops, wrong Turkey – you do NOT want yours to spend so much time in the oven so as to smoke like this. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise! No bombing necessary.

Also, after the wine bath, I season it with oregano, garlic (powder or salt, depending on your blood pressure), a dash of basil, cayenne pepper, white pepper, fresh coarse ground pepper (this is Cajun country here), and Beau Monde seasoning (from Publix – French for ‘beautiful world,’ mostly celery salt). And whatever else looks good from my spice rack. I rub my turkeys a lot – with lotsa schtuff.

Take your time.

That may mean anything from Rooster Sauce (Srirachi) to the bottle I grabbed thinking it was one thing and it turned out to be another. (It’s all good, really!).  The important thing is how it turns out internally. Lovers of spice can nosh from the edges and the blander pallets can opt for the more internal parts that have not been so seasoned.

I also cover it with foil (if it’s too big, or if it’s smaller, with the roaster lid)  to seal the juices and prevent the edges from getting gnarly.

Kinda like the pulled pork recipes which demand unchecked, unfettered cooking at low temps for suspiciously inordinate amounts of time. It’s not secret – it’s an art.

Like, when people ask for my recipes, I stutter and stammer and can’t replicate it – I have to be there to live it to cook it to create it. Otherwise, it’s just not, um, “me.” Ask any ladies’ church group that has EVER asked me for one of my recipes.

Rots-o-ruck.

This method always allows me to have enough energy to maintain our family tradition of walking the bay’s longest pier after we’ve had our pie on the porch (another family tradition, which may be eclipsed if this cold front doesn’t take a back seat this year) – after the big day.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all, from our front porch to yours!

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Hey, God, thanks for everything You bless us with, both now while we’re thinking of giving thanks and every day of the year, and even when we’re not looking. Thank You for all You give us, seen and unseen, now and in the future that we don’t know about yet, and past seeds planted that haven’t yet come to fruition. Thanks for things made known to us today that we cannot yet fully comprehend. And Roll Tide! Amen.

And thanks, readers, for this 200th blog post! I wouldn’t still be here if it weren’t for YOU. Love ya’all…

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