The Thanksgiving Turkey Project – Day 2

Today we are brining the turkey and prepping the gravy.

Brining the turkey
As I suspected last night, I used way to much salt. I’m going to post a comment on Meathead’s “Amazing Ribs” site to get his take on my problem.

The brine sat out overnight to cool in preparation for adding more water and the turkey.  Even after taking out over a cup of undissolved salt last night, there was more settled at the bottom this morning.

Still more undissolved salt in the brine.

With Carla’s help we poured the brine through a fine mesh strainer into the brining bucket and captured a lot of the undissolved solids. Unfortunately, a good bit of the pepper got caught up in it.

By this time I was wondering if I picked a good recipe; well no where to go but forward since this is still the development stage of the project. Hopefully, I can learn from my mistakes.

The turkey looked good. I poured the liquids into a container,  removed the neck, trimmed some of the skin and added it all to a pot for cooking with the gravy.

A nice looking turkey

I added cold water to the brine, then 3 1/2 gallons of ice and plunked the turkey in. I weighed it down with a 1 gallon milk jug filled with ice. The temp measured in the high 20’s. It should be hold for a while. I’ll check after lunch and replace the jug with another if needed.

Turkey in the brine

On to the gravy. I added 3 quarts of water, 1 cup of apple juice, a couple of onions and carrots along with a bit of thyme and sage. Carla cut the carrots up for snacks last night not realizing I needed them today. I’ll use much bigger chunks of carrots next time

Gravy fixin’s

Add the water and vegetables to the pot with the turkey parts for  a 15 minute simmer

Simmering the turkey bits, water, apple juice, and vegetables

Okay, that’s more like it. It’s starting to smell like Thanksgiving. The turkey neck and other bits released their fat and juices. This looks real promising.

After a bit it goes into the refrigerator; we’ll use it tomorrow

Gravy fixin’s in the fridge waiting for tomorrow

I didn’t get to grill much in August because we were gone so much. I wasn’t sure what state I left it in so figured I’d better check in case it needed cleaning. Nope; sparkling clean!

The grill is ready for tomorrow
Clean burn pot; no ash!

This evening I’ll take the turkey out of the brine and set it in the refrigerator overnight to dry out. This is to ensure nice crispy skin.

At 5:00 I made some herb infused garlic oil for the rub tomorrow. I mixed some fresh sage and thyme with 1/2 cup olive oil. That will sit overnight for the flavors to meld

Olive oil with sage and thyme

I wanted to get 12 hours of brining but that wasn’t in the cards. It went into the brine at 9:00 and we are going over to friends for dinner; Meathead says not to go over 12 hours of brining so took it out at 5. Eight hours of brine is better than none. It looks a bit darker than it did going in, so it gone some benefit.

I put it on a rack in my rubber/plastic tray so it would get a bit of air flow and have a place for the juices to flow. I then stuck my hand under the skin to loosen the skin from the muscle. It worked well on the breast, but when I tried to do the back side I split the skin.

Drying in the refrigerator after a day of brining

Links to other pages of the project

3 thoughts on “The Thanksgiving Turkey Project – Day 2

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.