The 2007 Thanksgiving Recipes Thread-a-palooza

Is it incongruous that a board with a "Hot Body Weight Loss Contest" also demanded a recipes forum to help each other get fat? I cannot see how.

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Momma Snider
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Postby Momma Snider » Fri 27 Nov, 2009 06:19 pm

My gravy turned out well, too, at least I think so. I can't remember if I ever had any. I made more than usual, thinking of WNL's gallon, so I can eat some tomorrow, maybe. I think everything was good. I didn't burn anything or forget anything, and there was enough of everything except rolls. And there were enough of those that some people had seven, but who's counting? We had 17 people at dinner.

Also, there was no leftover pie. I'm not used to having people around who actually eat pie, I guess, so we only had four pies, and ice cream and whipped cream. It was enough that several people went for round two about two hours after dessert was served the first time, and that made me happy.

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lilcis
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Postby lilcis » Mon 30 Nov, 2009 04:54 pm

Our turkey cooked a lot faster than I expected. I took the foil off after 3 hrs of cooking so that it could brown, and when I put the thermometer in it was already up to 170! So we left it in another hour to brown, but even then my husband didn't want to take it out because he thought it couldn't possibly be cooked all the way. So in my opinion it was a little dry, but everyone liked it. It still had good flavor, at least, thanks to the brining!

Maybe because we have a tiny oven it cooked faster? The (nearly) 18lb turkey filled the whole oven!
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AdamOndi
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Postby AdamOndi » Mon 30 Nov, 2009 08:06 pm

lilcis wrote:Our turkey cooked a lot faster than I expected. I took the foil off after 3 hrs of cooking so that it could brown, and when I put the thermometer in it was already up to 170! So we left it in another hour to brown, but even then my husband didn't want to take it out because he thought it couldn't possibly be cooked all the way. So in my opinion it was a little dry, but everyone liked it. It still had good flavor, at least, thanks to the brining!

Maybe because we have a tiny oven it cooked faster? The (nearly) 18lb turkey filled the whole oven!


You're supposed to brown the turkey in a 500-degree oven before you put the foil on. That way, you don't have to take off the foil later until it is out of the oven. For us, the whole roasting process took about three hours.

Lisa's mom tried brining a turkey a few years ago, and she also couldn't believe that it was done when the thermometer said so. So her turkey also turned out really dry despite the brine. I don't think I will ever understand why people don't believe the thermometer when it says the meat is at the correct temperature to be done.

As for our turkey, it was awesome. Perfectly seasoned, wonderfully moist and flavorful. The gravy that I made in the roasting pan using all of the drippings, plus the water that I boiled the giblets in, along with a whisked-in 1/4 cup of flour was excellent as well. It was all good stuff.
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Postby KareNin » Mon 30 Nov, 2009 09:54 pm

lilcis wrote:Maybe because we have a tiny oven it cooked faster? The (nearly) 18lb turkey filled the whole oven!

Hokey Smokes, that's a small oven!

Do you know, I don't believe I've ever heard/read anyone recommending browning the turkey in a 500-degree oven at the beginning of the cooking process, until now. (I don't watch TV much, remember, so if it's common knowledge on cooking shows, that doesn't mean I ever encountered it, stubborn little hermit that I am.)

But it makes perfect sense! As for the thermometer and the disbelief, I may have some insight on that. When I was growing up, back in the Dark Ages of Kitchenhood, it was common for The Mom to get up early in the morning and put the turkey in the oven, set at 250 degrees, and let it slowly cook for many, many hours. Enough hours to generate whole cupfuls of saliva, hungrily waiting for the turkey to be thoroughly cooked. I remember so many dry, tasteless turkeys... it wasn't until probably 1990 or so, that somebody started spreading the word that that was a really counterproductive way to cook a turkey, and that using higher heat, less time, and a thermometer was faster, juicier, better in every possible way, and killed harmful bacteria more reliably. We were all so dumb.

Anyhow, enter the meat thermometer! Perfect solution, except that sometimes, they do malfunction. I've had at least 2 break, and one kind (a simple glass tube fastened to a metal piece with the temperatures printed on the metal) slid up and down so loosely that it was impossible to gauge the accuracy of it.

So, given the long history of slowly dehydrating a turkey, coupled with distrust of thermometers, I can see how a person could overcook a bird, not believing it could possibly be done yet.

Oh! Oh! Also! My son Jon (halfway through Columbus Culinary College) said USE A THERMOMETER, NOT THOSE PLASTIC POP-UP thingies, to determine the doneness. He said their chefs say that by the time that thing pops up, it's already a half hour or so overcooked. I guess you cook it to 165 degrees, but the plastic thing doesn't pop up until it hits 170.

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The Don
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Postby The Don » Tue 01 Dec, 2009 08:05 am

AdamOndi wrote:
lilcis wrote:Our turkey cooked a lot faster than I expected. I took the foil off after 3 hrs of cooking so that it could brown, and when I put the thermometer in it was already up to 170! So we left it in another hour to brown, but even then my husband didn't want to take it out because he thought it couldn't possibly be cooked all the way. So in my opinion it was a little dry, but everyone liked it. It still had good flavor, at least, thanks to the brining!

Maybe because we have a tiny oven it cooked faster? The (nearly) 18lb turkey filled the whole oven!


You're supposed to brown the turkey in a 500-degree oven before you put the foil on. That way, you don't have to take off the foil later until it is out of the oven. For us, the whole roasting process took about three hours.

Lisa's mom tried brining a turkey a few years ago, and she also couldn't believe that it was done when the thermometer said so. So her turkey also turned out really dry despite the brine. I don't think I will ever understand why people don't believe the thermometer when it says the meat is at the correct temperature to be done.

As for our turkey, it was awesome. Perfectly seasoned, wonderfully moist and flavorful. The gravy that I made in the roasting pan using all of the drippings, plus the water that I boiled the giblets in, along with a whisked-in 1/4 cup of flour was excellent as well. It was all good stuff.


Our turkey cooked quicker than expected as well but I caught it in time and got it out before it got too dry. A meat thermometer is ESSENTIAL to proper meat cooking and brining the turkey before hand is really the best way to go. I also chopped up some fresh herbs from my herb garden and put them under the skin on the breasts and thighs of the turkey which gave it even more flavor.
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KMD
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Postby KMD » Tue 01 Dec, 2009 08:18 am

Karenin, your son is 100% correct. Yank that pop-up thingie out, and insert a meat thermometer in there. I got one of those probe ones that has the wire that comes outside the oven door, and hooks into the base unit, set that for the desired temp, and when it beeps, I pull that turkey. And I'll set that for about 165, and let carryover bring the bird to 170. Mmm!

Although, none of this happened this year, for me. That's why I've been silent in this thread so far. I had the flu the week before Thanksgiving, and then sinusitis right at Thanksgiving. So I did no cooking whatsoever, and we ate at my mom's house instead. She does the "old school" method of putting the turkey in at like 2AM, and by the time everyone wakes up, the house is permeated with the smell of turkey and you just can't help but drool. But, when it finally makes it's way out of the oven, it's a little dry, and leftovers are always chewy and dry. That's the other thing I love about brining the turkey, the leftovers are still fairly moist and incredibly tasty.
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lilcis
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Postby lilcis » Tue 01 Dec, 2009 11:08 am

The Don wrote:Our turkey cooked quicker than expected as well but I caught it in time and got it out before it got too dry. A meat thermometer is ESSENTIAL to proper meat cooking and brining the turkey before hand is really the best way to go. I also chopped up some fresh herbs from my herb garden and put them under the skin on the breasts and thighs of the turkey which gave it even more flavor.


How did you handle the browning and cooking? Did you use foil or a bag?
Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not that way. I hate so much about the things that you choose to be. Michael Scott

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Momma Snider
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Postby Momma Snider » Tue 01 Dec, 2009 06:25 pm

I put my turkey in the oven, estimate how long it will take based on whatever the ratio is -- 20 minutes per pound? and take it out at the end. It's done if the leg wiggles freely. I feel so 1800s.

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Postby SDR » Wed 02 Dec, 2009 10:24 am

Momma Snider wrote:I put my turkey in the oven, estimate how long it will take based on whatever the ratio is -- 20 minutes per pound? and take it out at the end. It's done if the leg wiggles freely. I feel so 1800s.


1800 is far too high a temperature to cook the turkey. It'll be raw in the middle and burnt to a crisp on the outside. How can someone that makes such delicious The Brownies make that sort of mistake? ;)

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The Don
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Postby The Don » Wed 02 Dec, 2009 12:59 pm

lilcis wrote:
The Don wrote:Our turkey cooked quicker than expected as well but I caught it in time and got it out before it got too dry. A meat thermometer is ESSENTIAL to proper meat cooking and brining the turkey before hand is really the best way to go. I also chopped up some fresh herbs from my herb garden and put them under the skin on the breasts and thighs of the turkey which gave it even more flavor.


How did you handle the browning and cooking? Did you use foil or a bag?


I didn't use either. Although the foil is a very good idea to slow down the cooking of the breast and allow the leg meat to catch up. A bag works fine as far as cooking it but it's really steaming not roasting the turkey and you don't get the crispy skin.
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