Help me plan Thanksgiving!

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by DreadedMoonMama, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. DreadedMoonMama

    DreadedMoonMama Out Of The Brooder

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    So we have 4 turkeys for Thanksgiving this year. One belongs to our family, 2 belong to friends of ours, and the 4th (the tom who's way too big to cook in one piece, anyway) is going to be ground meat to split between us all. I don't want a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving, I want fresh! But I'm not sure on the details.

    Does it need to be brined? If so, how long? Ideally when would you process a turkey to have it fresh and ready for Thanksgiving? Where in the world do I find a pot that will fit a 30-40lb bird for scalding before I pluck them, or is there a trick to plucking turkeys I'm not aware of? Where do I find a pan to cook it in? How long should I cook it? What should I know about the difference in store bought turkeys and cooking fresh? My husband is likely going to be out of town for an entire month leading up to Thanksgiving so this is all up to me!
     
  2. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WOW, all of these are questions I would not have thought of. I was thinking of growing a turkey next year. I didn't think about one growing so big or how they are bigger and would take a bigger pot. Is there a turkey page on this site?
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    To scald a turkey, I use a galvanized wash tub. The big box home improvement stores sell them. Must be used outside. Depending upon the weather, I either dig a hole and have a wood fire under the wash tub, or I use the propane burner from under the turkey fryer. You also have thee option of dry plucking.

    Butcher 3-5 days before you eat, keep it well chilled the whole time it is resting.

    I never brine. We are a low sodium family due to my son's high blood pressure. Nobody has ever complained about my roast turkey.

    If the bird will not fit into the oven, do you have a propane barbecue with a smoker lid? You can set that propane on low heat and cook a turkey with indirect heat. I put mine into one of those disposable foil pans so the drippings don't get lost (or start a fire), then cover the turkey with foil. When the bird is done, remove the foil, add some wet apple wood to the fire and let the bird smoke and brown.
     
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Add, after plucking and cleaning, my birds go into an ice bath to speed chilling and soak out any remaining blood. I use one of those 55 gallon food grade plastic barrels cut in half and I have lots and lots of ice made in advance and ready to use. The birds soak until they feel cold to the touch and then they are covered from contact with the air and placed into a cold refrigerator to rest.

    Personally, I don't want my meat soaking in water. I believe it soaks the flavor out. Chill fast, keep it cold.
     
  5. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    I would use 2 large plastic tubs. You can place the birds in one tub and soak them for plucking. After you have your birds clean, clean and sanitize the tub and 1/2 fill with ice. Place the other tub on top of the ice, with the birds inside. I would soak the birds in apple cider, rosemary, and ice for 24 hours. Keep the birds covered.
     
  6. DreadedMoonMama

    DreadedMoonMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2012
    Soak the birds for plunking? How do you do this? I'm assuming it's not boiling water since it's a plastic tub... (can you tell I'm REALLY new to all this? lol)
     
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I think she means soak it for Plucking but I'm not sure as you really don't have to soak them for that, just dunk.
     
  8. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I should have been clear, sorry. I soak my birds first and clean off the feathers and inside the birds to get it clean. (I forgot this part)Than I dip the bird in scalding hot water in my sink, and pluck. I find that sometimes I need to refill my sinks a few times so I have two pots on the stove at all times boiling and ready for use,. rinse off the bird, half fill the bottom bucket with ice(it will keep the bird colder)place the bird in the top bucket, cover with apple cider, rosemary sprigs, and ice for at least 24 hours. You can hold it for 5 days to make the meat absorb the flavors of rosemary, thyme, or what ever herbs you choose. Keep checking daily your ice levels in your bottom bucket. You can than stuff your bird 8 hours before service.
    Old fashion stuffing recipe:

    Save the neck, heart, liver, and boil for 1 hour, cool and pick off the meat from the neck bone. Save the juice (chop all meats small or food process)
    1 apple
    1 onion
    2 cups of small diced celery
    2 loaves of home baked bread
    1 tablespoon of thyme
    1 tsp rosemary
    1/2 cup butter(for rubbing bird and toast)
    2 cups chicken or turkey stock(giblet water)
    1 tsp pepper
    1/2 tablespoon salt
    2 tsp sage
    slice the bread one inch thick, lightly butter and sprinkle 1 tsp thyme toast both sides under broiler, let dry in oven over night, cube when dry -this step can be done any time


    Mix all ingredient and stuff bird just prior to cooking
    Rub the skin of the bird in butter and salt
    Tent your bird in foil
    350 for 4 hours- remove foil and cook for 1 more hour

    I use the bag method and it reduces the time and fooling with the foil
     

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