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With Thanksgiving around the corner for those of us in the US, I was thinking about trying out something new when I brine my turkey this year. I've used brining for the past two years and have found it is a great way to insure a moist and flavorful bird.

 

In previous years I've brined my turkey in a salt, sugar, vegetable broth, fruit juice, spice mixture, and then cooked the bird with various aromatics in its cavity (i.e. apple/onion, orange/lemon, sage, rosemary, garlic). This time, however, I was thinking of going in a citrus/fennel direction for my brining and roasting. I was thinking I might even put a little bit of absinthe in the brining liquid, but wasn't sure if this might be ill-advised.

 

So, with that as my impetus, I thought we could use a general recipe thread to post holiday recipes, cooking tips, questions, and of course that previously mentioned absinthe sorbet recipe!

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I've started cheating on the bird. We have a couple of local businesses that smoke turkeys and the product is just too good. I'll still make a sweet potato dish, a wild rice dish and hot pepper cranberry sauce but why mess with cooking when I can get a perfectly smoked turkey for only a few dollars more? Our Thanksgiving is usually 20 - 30 friends and family with a wide variety of traditional and not so traditional side dishes.

 

I usually make a Cranberry Mead/Champaign Punch that guarantees the dinner will be happily received no matter how bad the food. :devil:

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You Alton junkie.

 

Guilty as charged. :)

 

So, here's what I'm thinking of doing for my turkey brine/roasting this year. Any feedback would be appreciated, especially if you see me headed down the wrong path.

 

Starting with the standard AB recipe, I'll brine my 10-12 lb. birdie in a mixture of the following: water, kosher salt, honey or brown sugar, homemade vegetable broth (carrots, celery, onion, fennel bulb), orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, pepper corns, ginger, and a shot of absinthe just for the hell of it. After brining for a day or so, I'll roast the turkey in the oven with the cavity stuffed with the following aromatics: an orange quartered, a lemon quartered, garlic, 1/2 bulb fennel, an onion quartered, and perhaps some sage. I've found the fennel-citrus combo to be a great thing (I've made a tart apple/shaved fennel salad with ricotta salada and a citrus dressing that people absolutely rave about), so I thought why not try the flavors with my turkey. My only concern is that I don't want it to be to fennely (is that a word?), in case others don't care for the flavor. However, I have found that even those who don't care for a licorice flavor, don't balk at fennel as a vegetable.

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I'm disappointed.

 

Have you forgotten about iceing down your breast and wrapping it up in a little foil hat for ride? :devil:

Edited by elfnmagik

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Is "brining the turkey" a new euphemism, or have I just missed it?

 

Personally, I'm a fan of anything I can cook in the microwave. Like, say, curried chicken with quinoa. Not sure how absinthe would taste in that; I'm thinking not good.

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The best turkeys I ever cooked were while living in Mexico. Us Americans got together one year for a big she-bang. I did one bird stuffed with clams, oysters & shrimp, bread crumbs, herbs & lots of butter. Cooked it in a huge weber grill. Outstanding. I did another one that day in a marinade sack with a tequila lime marinade, wrapped in a wet burlap sack and pit BBQ'd. Going to Portland this year for Thanksgiving.

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Have you forgotten about iceing down your breast and wrapping it up in a little foil hat for ride? :devil:

 

But if I ice my turkey's breast won't her nipples get hard? :devil:

 

And, are you trying to insinuate that my turkey is paranoid with your foil hat comment? [see article below.]

 

http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/

Edited by jcbphd

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