Thanksgiving Feast

So it’s Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, which means we’re either defrosting the bird or have just picked it up.  I’m doing this today.  GASP!  Will it be thawed in time, you ask? Why yes.  Since last year I opted to buy a fresh turkey from Whole Foods that has not been brined.  Why fresh?  I read about the benefits of fresh turkey (I can’t find the article anymore) last year and how less sodium solution is added to a fresh turkey.  Frozen turkeys have this unfortunately to “plump up” your bird, which is why frozen turkeys are saltier than fresh turkeys.  They also do this to chicken, which is why they say to buy organic chicken.  Anyhow, the fresh turkey has a thin layer of ice, which can be removed by washing it.  So today, I’m pick up our turkey and avoiding all the last minute grocery shoppers tomorrow!

Last year, I made Alton Brown’s Good Eat’s Turkey, which apparently was the MOST downloaded recipe last year.

It was quite tasty.  But this year, my husband said to make something different.  He said the turkey was good last year, but suggested I try something new.  I cringed a bit when he suggested this, since last year’s effort turned out well.  I don’t want to mess up this year’s turkey with a new recipe.

But after reading a couple of recipes and reviews online including Gwenyth Paltrow’s website, I decided that I was going to try Martha Stewart’s Perfect Roast Turkey, without stuffing the bird.  I know it’s supposed to make the turkey juicier, but something about putting my stuffing in the cavity of the turkey freaks me out a bit.  The possibility of salmonella perhaps?  Yeah, you’re supposed to check the temperature of the stuffing when placed in the cavity of the turkey but I’d rather not and just go with the “safer” option and go with dressing.  I’ll just put aromatics into the cavity, which I’ve done the last two years and it’s worked out fine.

So today, I will prepare the brine for the turkey and chill it overnight, so that I can start the brining process tomorrow morning or afternoon.

I’ll also be cutting my bread today and leaving that out to air dry for the stuffing/dressing.  I’m trying something new this year, so there isn’t a recipe yet.  But instead of my typical cornbread dressing, I’m going to make it with sourdough bread and cranberry walnut bread this year.  🙂  I LOVE cranberry walnut bread.  Pretty sure my mother in law likes it too as she sometimes makes it or something similar with her bread maker at home.  I’ll be sure to share with you the recipe after Thanksgiving!  Hopefully it’ll be a success.  Fingers crossed!

I’ll also start preparing the Parker House Rolls today and possibly freeze or chill the dough to bake off tomorrow.

Which leaves me to dessert.  I have NO idea what to make.  Pie, I suppose?  Or perhaps I should just purchase it?  I may go the lazy route.  We’ll see.  Any suggestions?

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