Monday, November 16, 2009

Make Ahead Easy Turkey Day!

Smoked Turkey Leg For Gravy
Publix carries Uncle John's Pride Smoked Items

Green Bean Roast

Corn Bread Dressing (called Stuffing when it's in the Bird)

Always reliable Pepperidge Farm Cornbread

Sweet Potato Pie

We doctor this up!

Hi everyone! I'm Healthy again and back in business...phew!
This Thanksgiving is fast, easy, & Freeze-able!
An important note-
***We use Empire Kosher Turkey...because it's Kosher you really don't need to brine it!
***To defrost- allow 1 day in fridge for every 5 pounds
***Take all dishes out of the freezer and put into fridge Wednesday Morning.
***If brining your Turkey make sure it's defrosted by Tuesday
***Whether you brine or not...prepare Turkey Wednesday morning, season and let it air dry uncovered in fridge overnight
We are going to do 2 small 12 pound Birds...I will give them 3 days in the fridge.
So between brining, air drying, and defrosting count backwards from Thanksgiving to see what day you need to start defrosting.
We are doing our birds 2 different ways...Grilling and with the new Big Easy Infrared Fryer (it uses no oil!!!), it works like a very very hot convection oven. ***If you want to fry traditionally, go to my November 2008 archives for how we did it!
Because we are grilling and no-oil frying, we will not have pan juices to make our let's start with our Smoked Turkey Gravy!
1 Tblsp Canola Oil
1 package of Smoked Turkey parts(they usually come in legs and or necks)
2 large splashes White Wine
1 32 oz container of Chicken Broth
1 Large Sweet Onion minced fine
1 Large Carrot minced fine
4 minced Garlic cloves
Pre-heat oven to 450
In a large pot on high heat add the Oil and brown the Smoked Turkey Parts on all sides about 10 minutes
Remove Turkey and put it on a pan in the oven
To the heated pot add the chopped Onion and Carrots
Pour in a splash of Wine
Saute till tender then add Garlic and another Splash of wine
Saute for another 3 minutes
Add all the Broth and bring to boil
Add the Turkey back
Lower the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes
Remove the Turkey pieces (great snack for the gang)
Let the gravy cool
Pour into a blender and liquefy
Pour into a container put into fridge overnight
Next day skim fat
Put into freezer
To reheat put in pan on top of stove on medium high heat
Green Bean Roast- this is one of a few things you need to make fresh the day of...
3 Tblsp Canola oil
2 Tblsp Granulated Garlic
2 Tblsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Tblsp Pre-minced Garlic
1 LB fresh Green Beans trimmed
1 half large Red Onion very thinly sliced
Cooking Spray
1/4 Cup very finely grated Gruyere Cheese or Swiss
3 Tblsp Bacon Pieces
Pre-heat Oven to 450
Prepare a large Baking sheet with foil sprayed with cooking spray
Put first 6 ingredients in a large zip lock bake
Add green Beans and Onions and shake to coat
Empty bag onto baking sheet and spread it out
Sprinkle with Cheese and Bacon Bits
Roast about 15 to 20 minutes the onions will look caramelized.
Make ahead Stuffing
For Corn Bread mixture...
In a large pot bring 2 Cups Chicken Broth to a Boil
Take off heat and then empty entire Package of Corn Bread
Cover and let Stand for 5 minutes
Uncover and fluff with a fork
Set aside
Take one package of Craisins and put them in a bowl of hot water
Set aside
You will need a very large bowl for the next steps
In a large Saute pan on high heat and brown 1 Pound of Turkey Sausage adding in granulated Garlic and Paprika
Using a slotted spoon put the Sausage in the bowl
In the same pan add 1 Pound Sliced White Mushrooms saute till nice and brown
Put the Mushrooms in the bowl
In the Pan Saute 1 Large Chopped Sweet Onion, 2 Large Stalks Chopped Celery, 2 large Carrots Chopped and 3 cloves Chopped Garlic( you may need to add a little Canola Oil). Season with a pinch of Salt and Pepper
Add all this to the Bowl
Chop 1 Can of Water Chestnuts and add right into the bowl
Drain the Craisins and add them to the bowl
Add the Corn Bread to the Bowl
Mix everything really well
Pour into whatever you are serving it in and let it cool
Cover with plastic and foil
To reheat on 350m you can splash some Chicken Broth on it to re moisten
Time for Sweet Potato Pie...
1 Pillsbury Pie Crust
1 29oz Can of Bruce's Sweet Potato Pie Filling
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup Evaporated Milk (NOT sweetened condensed)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425
Place pie shell into pie plate and shape edge of shell however you like it...the easiest way is to press all around with the tines of a fork (no need to grease pie shell)
In a Large Bowl Beat eggs lightly
Add rest of ingredients and mix well
Pour into pie shell
Place a ring of foil around the edge of shell so it does not burn
Put in oven and bake on 425 for 15 minutes - then reduce temp to 350 and bake for to 60 minutes
Take it out to cool completely
Cover the pie with plastic and make sure it touches the filling so that you don't get frost.
Then cover in foil
To reheat put oven on 250 for about 20 minutes.
You can always put dollops of Marshmallow Fluff on the pie!
****Remember to put all frozen items in fridge on Wednesday Morning to defrost!
Turkey Time
You will want an internal Temp of 165
Roasting times are 325 degrees
8-12 lbs 2 1/2- 3 1/2 Hours
12-16 lbs 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 Hours
16-20 lbs 4-5 Hours
20-24 lbs 4 1/2 - 6 Hours
Let rest Tented with foil up to 1/2 hour
For Brining the day before
You need a big pot that your Bird will fit into
In a bowl put your favorite fresh herbs no chopping just throw them in
6 unpeeled Garlic Cloves
Handful of whole Peppercorns
1 Cup Salt
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 squeezed Orange and throw in the rest of it too!
2 Cups of Water
Pour Over Turkey and add more water to cover
Put in fridge overnight
The next steps are for brined and non brined Turkey
Remove goody bag with the giblets and neck or anything else from the cavity
Dry your bird really well
Salt and Pepper the whole bird in and out
Rub the whole Bird with Canola or Olive Oil
In a small bowl combine 2 Tblsp Smoked Paprika & 2 Tblsp Granulated Garlic
Rub this mixture all over the bird really well and pour some in the cavity
Tie the legs together tight to the bird
Roast away uncovered using the times above. If your skin is getting to brown you can cover it with foil.
Take temp in the thick part of breast and don't touch bone it throws temp off. you want 160-165
Take it out and let it rest
Home Made Cranberry Sauce
1 1/2 Cups of fresh Cranberries
3/4 Cups sugar
3/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 Tblsp grated Orange Peel
1/4 Cup Water
1/2 Tsp Cornstarch
Bring to Boil first 4 Ingredients
Simmer 3-4 minutes till Berries pop
Stir a few times
In a small bowl Mix water & Cornstarch
Add to pot and bring back to boil for 1-2 minutes stirring all the while
Cool Completely
Keep in fridge- No need to freeze

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