Friday, January 27, 2012

Kelsey's Apple Pie Turkey

Part of our intentional living means buying things in bulk, or whole products and then using the most of them that I can.  I try to do this whenever my schedule allows. 

This week, turkeys were on sale at the local grocery store for 1.40/lb.  That's a pretty good price.  I try not to pay more than $2.00/lb for meat/poultry.  I would have preferred a locally raised organic free range turkey, but hey, we're working within our budget guidelines, and I did buy it from our local store and not the vicious wally world, which are the only two places in town that I can buy a turkey.  I digress...

The turkey was frozen when I got it and I have no freezer space for a whole turkey, so I plopped it in a large kettle (actually supposed to be used for canning), and dumped in some homemade veggie broth (will post recipe in the future), some water, some apple-pie liqueur (will post recipe in the future), and 2 cups of salt.  I took it out to the garage to let it thaw and brine.  And thaw and brine. And thaw and brine.  I was actually going to cook it two days ago, but I was afraid it hadn't thawed fully, then I was going to cook it yesterday (and write this blog), but I got sidetracked working for the man until almost midnight (it's okay, my husband brought me a bottle of wine to wash my sorrows down with).

So TODAY is the day.  Once I was finished with my consulting duties, I scurried out to the garage and grabbed, well...told hubby to grab that turkey and bring it in.  I drained the brine and rinsed out the turkey inside and out.  Then I dried it with a paper towel. 

My goal is to have the turkey turn out better looking than this.
While the turkey dried, I got to chopping.  I chopped up some celery, skinned some carrots and quartered a large onion.  I left the pieces big, because these veggies are going to act as my roasting tray.  (this is a trick I saw Anne Burrell do on the food network).  Save your onion peels, the butt of your celery and your carrot skins so you can make stock in the future.  I throw mine in a reusable baggie or a jar and keep them in the freezer until I have so much I need to make broth or allow the chickens a feeding frenzy.  The combination of carrots, celery, and onion is called a mirepoix and is very common in French Cuisine.  If you mix these 3 ingredients together when you're cooking anything at all, it's bound to taste good and SMELL good, as all 3 of these veggies are aromatics.  I thought I took a picture, but it must not have saved.  Sorry, better luck next time. 

Next, I grabbed some softened butter, about half a stick, I seasoned it with some of my favorite seasonings, rosemary,onion powder, and garlic powder.  You can use what you like.

Then, I used my hands to separate some of the skin from the turkey, I stuck my hands in the butter and pushed as much of it as I could under the skin of the turkey.  With what was leftover, I rubbed all over the outside and inside of the turkey.  I would have liked to have taken a picture to show you how to do it, but my hands were covered in seasoned butter, and I am rather fond of my camera not covered in butter and rosemary. 

Then I tossed the turkey onto the rack of mirepoix and tented my aluminum foil I'd been using as a counter protector over the top.  I popped it in the oven that was pre-heated to 325 degrees F.  It's cooking away right now and smells AMAZING!

With about an hour left to cook (or one DVRed episode of General Hospital, and one episode of  30 Rock), I took the tinfoil off the bird so it would brown and get all crispy. 

Once it reached temperature, and the house smelled all deliciously, I pulled the bird out and let it rest.  I'm super pumped to carve this and eat some.  Then I'm going to freeze the leftovers and do something with the carcass, like make soup or scrapple, or something awesome.

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