Top 10 Turkey Tips!

11/16 What are your best turkey tips?  Here are my Top 10 Turkey Tips that I have collected through the years:

10.  Always thaw a frozen turkey for 2 to 3 days in your refrigerator, a 20# turkey will take 3 days

9.  For a crispier crust, the night before unwrap and leave in your refrigerator uncovered.

8. Use a balsamic vinegar after rinsing your turkey to help kill bacteria and add flavor to the bird, it will also give your bird a darker color when finished cooking.

7.  Rub you turkey before roasting with an extra virgin olive olive oil then season with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper and chili powder.

6.  Don't over-stuff your turkey!  I plead guilty as I always try to cram as much dressing into the cavity.  A loosely stuffed turkey will cook more evenly and allow room for the stuffing to expand and taste better.

5.  Don't trust a pop timer use a meat thermometer and insert in the thigh without touching the bone, when it reads 180degrees it is done and insert into the stuffing it should read 165 degrees.

4. Always tent with aluminum foil  when done, then let your turkey rest for 30 minutes before you think about carving! 

3.  For a moister breast start your turkey in the oven upside down, with the breast facing down.  The last hour of cooking turn breast up, but be very careful when handling an extremely hot turkey.

2.  Another tip for avoiding dried out breasts is to soak a cheese cloth in butter then place on the breast, but remove for the last hour of cooking.

1.  My #1 tip for a great turkey is to brine the bird for at least 6 hours before roasting, I actually prefer 24 hours.  Use a mixture of salt and brown sugar (I also through in a good handful black peppercorns) , with a ratio of 1 quart of water 1/2C salt and1/2C brown sugar. This will give you a moister more flavorful bird.

Love them or Hate them? Brussel Sprouts!

 11/9  Brussels Sprouts is one of those polarizing veggies, either people hate them or they love them.  I am in the camp of loving them, which puts me at odds with my wife who hates them!  Although I have found a way my wife actually enjoys brussels sprouts; roasting.  I think there are many people who have been exposed to over-cooked mushy sprouts that taste bitter (that's what happens when you over cook them), but if people were exposed to the clean fresh sweet flavor of a simple roasted brussels sprout, I think there would be less sprout haters.  Simply rinse the sprouts, trim the end and make Xin the base (this will help the sprout cook through), then toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, lay out on a cooking sheet and roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes or until el dente!  You will be surprised how the roasting will bring out the natural sweetness of this healthy vegetable; high in vitamins C and A and also known for it cancer inhibiting compounds.

Yes it is named after the capital of Belgium, where they may been the first to cultivate this vegetable offspring of cabbage.  As Thanksgiving approaches our brussel sprout sales go way up.  Another way I have enjoyed brussel sprouts is braised (cooked under low heat in a liquid), with milk or cream, then as the cream reduces and thickens add some good parmesan cheese mix thoroughly and serve.  The cream enhances their sweetness and makes a great dish to serve alongside of turkey. 

Do you like Brussel Sprouts and how do you prepare them?