Friday, November 23, 2007

Gobble, Gobble...

Mmmmm....Thanksgiving....Just because no family are willing to visit me and my very pregnant family doesn't mean the Whites aren't going to have a big Thanksgiving meal! As per usual, I decided we'd pretty much have the works. My first experiment began last week. I wondered if smoking a turkey for the big day would be worthwhile, so I ran up to the Bi-Lo and bought a 5-lb turkey breast for a trial run. I rubbed the thing with some cajun spices, lit the BGE and set for 250 degrees, threw on some Jack Daniels smoking chunks, and about 3 1/2 hours later, this emerged...
BGE Turkey Breast
Looks good, tastes great, but for me was a big to BBQ for Turkey Day. Jen thought I was crazy for making this thing the Sunday before, but hey, it was a snap with the BGE and we had BBQ turkey sandwiches and the following day...
Turkey Pot Pie
Turkey pot-pie! This is AB's recipe that uses frozen, roasted veggies and curry powder...very good actually...With that said, I decided to ditch the BGE and do a Cook's Illustrated classic, "High-Roast Turkey". Jen and I have made this for 5 years running and it never fails to be a juicy, perfectly cooked bird. You start by spatchcocking the turkey (hack out the back bone, snip out the rib cage, and pound the sucker flat (barbaric but quite fun)) and brine overnight in the cooler. When you're ready to go, you just take the floppy turkey out of the brine, wipe dry, season, and place on a BROILER pan at 450 degrees (hence the high-roast). After about 80 to 90 minutes the thigh meat will be about 175 degrees and the turkey is done...that's it, an hour and 1/2 for a delicious 12 lb turkey with super crispy skin.
High-Roast Turkey
I decided to make a green onion gravy from this year's Bon Ap and their ham, leek cornbread stuffing muffins. I rounded out the deal with a butternut squash chowder, collards cooked in a ham stock, sweet potatoes, and a cranberry-apple compote.

Cornbread Dressing with Ham and Leeks

Butternut Squash Chowder & Green Onion Gravy
Collards cooked in Ham Hock Stock

Thanksgiving 2007

Dessert: Apple Tart (above) Pecan Praline Tart (below)

This was some good eats, which is a good thing b/c when you cook this much for 2 people, you tend to have some left-overs...Happy Thanksgiving!

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