Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Today is the day all domestic geeks look forward to (or dread for some)…a day focused on food, family and more food. I started my preparations at about 3 pm yesterday by making an Apple-Cranberry Sauce, Curry Sweet Potato Mash, baking bread (gluten free) for the stuffing, making the butternut squash for the stuffing and setting the turkey to brine (brining is a surefire way to create a moist and juicy turkey). I cheated a bit and just got a pre-made brine from Whole Foods…it smelled delicious and was almost identical to the one I was going to make so why not save some time? All I have left today is roast the turkey…which I forgot to mention will be bacon wrapped. I bacon wrapped the turkey last year and it was amazing! I waited until the turkey was almost done and applied the bacon for the last half hour and the bacony taste permeated the turkey to the core. Well this year I decided to start wrapping the turkey from the beginning and just remove and reapply the bacon throughout (to keep it from burning. By my calculations, this will either cause the turkey to have a bacony flavor the likes of which the world has never seen….or I will blow up my kitchen. Either way it should be good times!
So you might be wondering why Im here now and why Im live blogging. Well why not? People live blog stupid stuff all the time (ie: Live Blogging Martha Stewart) and dammit Im going to liveblog cooking my turkey. So keep checking back for more turkey updates and let me know what youre cooking and how its going. ;)
8:33– Ok Ive hit snooze long enough, time to get up and get this bird going! I removed it from the brine and patted it dry. Next I heated up an apple quartered, a half onion, some cinnamin, some sage, a cup of water and a splash of maple syrup and filled the bird with the mixture (leaving out most of the liquid).
9:06– The Turkey has entered the oven! Its a scorching 500 degrees and Ive opened up all the windows in my apartment to avoid setting off any smoke alarms. It kind of sucks because it lets all the delicious turkey scent out.
9:36– Alright 30 minutes of broiling (and only one burn to my hand) and the heat has been reduced to 350 and the turkey wrapped in its FIRST layer of bacon! Look at this beauty!
10:15– OMG my apartment smells like bacon and all kinds of deliciousness. I wish I could transmit scent over the internet because this is what love smells like. Im trying to gauge how long to leave each bacon application on. I want it to cook trough but not burn…but I also need to make sure I dont open the oven too much because that will just add more cook time to the bird and lead to drying it out. Oh and have no fear the bacon from the turkey will not go to waste…what I manage to avoid eating will be diced and added to the stuffing to make a Bacon Butternut Squash Stuffing.
11:01– Alrighty, so the bacon has cooked and is ready to be removed…although some of the bacon decided to graft itself to the turkey and it took some finagling to remove it. But the first layer was shed and the second applied and the turkey is popped back into the oven for the final hour to 2 hours. Sadly I just realized I forgot to get a turkey thermometer so I have to run out and procure that. Lets hope the store isnt too crazy!
12:09– Back from the store and shockingly enough, there were hardly any lines! I was able to walk right up to a register and was out in less than 10 minutes! So now the thermometer is in the turkey and its just under 140 degrees and looking lovely. Check out the all that turkey n bacon juice accumulating at the bottom of the pan…that will make for some tasty gravy! Time to dice up the bacon I removed earlier and make the stuffing! Going to make the executive decision to drop the temperature of the oven a bit so that I dont overdo the bird (chow time is scheduled for around 2pm).
12:47– Success! The turkey has reached peak deliciousness (and something about proper temperature)! Final result was 2 bacon applications (about an hour and 15 minutes for each application). I cooked up some extra bacon and along with the bacon from before, diced it for the stuffing. Ive got to say, I might actually be more excited for the stuffing! Look at it! Homemade bread…butternut squash sauteed with onions, celery and herbs…and now bacon. Just popped that into the oven while the turkey sits wrapped in foil awaiting its transportation.
fun fact- between the turkey and the stuffing there is a total of 3 lbs of bacon!
1:33– Stuffing is almost done and the Curry Sweet Potato Mash is warming up. Just finished the gravy which involved not only the bacon/turkey drippings but a secret ingredient (hint- Aunt Jemima would be proud).
1:46– Huzzah its all done! Now to back it up and pray it survives the 2 mile trek to my friend’s house. Wish me luck!
2:21– Food arrived safely! Got a celebratory glass of wine and am waiting for everyone’s delicious contribution to the feast. Will post final pics later. Thanks for following and happy Thanksgiving everyone!