I didn't photograph the process of preparing the bird, because I didn't want to contaminate my camera with poultry bacteria. Plus, I didn't really think that Blogosphere needs another turkey recipe (my excuse translating that I wasn't sure I'd need to blog this recipe). Well, I was wrong-- and I will tell you that this was one delicious bird! You should can prepare the turkey 24- 48 hours ahead. Somehow, I missed that and it was four hours until the turkey needed to go on the grill, that I discovered this. D'oh! Fortunately, as the photo shows, the turkey turned out fine-- big relief.
Sweet Potato Casserole and making the Mashed Potatoes (updated version to be posted this week).
GRAVY WARNING: You don't get drippings for making gravy, with this method. Instead of resorting to package or canned gravy, I made "Make Ahead Gravy" the night before. I simply put the gravy into a small crockpot on WARM and that was ready to go.
Not this year. I didn't have the
Why had I never thought of these before? I wish I could say these are my idea, because they are all over Blogosphere. I used an ice cream scoop to measure the stuffing into a muffin tin and set them aside as I made the rest of the meal. By the way, the One-Hour Dinner Rolls saved my day, as I was running out of steam in the kitchen.
I made an oath that I was going to keep things simple, since I'm the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. Still, it took almost five hours for me to make all the side dishes, bake bread and clean up the kitchen. At least I didn't have to worry about basting the turkey.
The turkey had been grilling for 2-1/2 hours and I suggested that we check on it.
Craig: No, the recipe says 3 hours.Me: Well, that's the suggested time.Craig: No, I don't want to lose heat!Me: What if it's already cooked, then it'll be dry?!Craig: (Dubious look on his face.)Me: Trust me, I always shorten the recommended time. We can always add more (smug look on my face)
I grabbed the camera and Craig lifted off the lid, and stuck in the instant-read thermometer.
Within seconds, the thermometer said 170F. "Get it off the grill, now!" I shrieked.
Moral of the story: Check the bird at 2 hours. 160F would be the ideal temperature.
That skin looks dry and crisp, because of the baking powder. But, would the meat be as dry?
Truth: No! Had we waited a moment longer, it would have been "yes".
Y'all know the commotion that goes on, once it's time to get the Thanksgiving feast on the table, right? I had lost natural lighting, and was busy orchestrating the plating and serving of our meal. (That is my excuse for not having many finished shots.)
TASTING NOTES: The turkey was still moist-- but, honestly, had we reduced the grilling time to 2 hours, it would have been even moister. The flavor was different in a very good way. Yes, it had the flavor of grilled meat, and my carnivores loved it. The skin was very crispy-- I'm not one to eat skin, but for those who do, it's excellent. The stuffing muffins were a big hit, and easy to just serve one on each place. Bonus: At the end of the evening, I put the turkey carcass into a pasta pot and added celery, onion, carrots, Bay leaves and peppercorns and 10 cups of water. The turkey stock had so much flavor! It's frozen for future recipes.
FOOTNOTE: I was thankful to have my brothers and lovely niece at our Thanksgiving table. However, I have made an oath for next year-- and I'm going to keep this one. I'm going to either be a dinner guest (I will bring a dish) or I am making reservations. For those of you who think I'll miss not having leftovers-- nah, ah, ah... we'll be grilling this very recipe for us to have as our private reserve.
Now, it's time to think of Christmas. Once again, I'm the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. Well, I'll be cooking, but I'm going to hand every family member a dish towel and scrubbing pad. I'm finally catching on!