The last few weeks on this board saw an almost overwhelming volume of Thanksgiving related questions. To fry or not to fry? To brine or not to brine? To stuff or not to stuff?
Let's take the time to share what we did this year, and what we learned. I see a few folks have reported back so far. Let's all share.
I'll start with a few:
- Reynolds Oven Bags do not make good brining vessels. I figured that these would be safer (i.e., food grade) than using trash bags. However, the seams were very weak and began leaking. I ended up putting the bird and brine directly in my California Innovations soft sided cooler.
- There is a huge difference between 161 and 164 degrees internal breast temperature. While my bird was still the moistest my family had ever eaten, it was much dryer than other times I have pulled it out of the oven as soon as it hit 161.
- Darkly colored roasting pans lead to raw looking skin on the undersides of a turkey. I'll be sticking with stainless steel, thank you.
- Always have extra bread on hand while making dressing. I made a dressing with Acme breads (1/2 sweet italian, 1/2 pain a levain) but added too much stock. It started to ooze like a thick soup while cooking. Luckily I had an extra loaf of each bread, which were quickly torn up and thrown in the baking dishes.
- Even if she says she's taking care of it, and even if she says she's going to Cost Plus, and even if she gets advice from you on exactly what wines she should buy for Thanksgiving, don't leave your good bottles at home because you assume your cousin will have wine.