Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Six hours of cooking...  Followed by fifteen minutes of eating...  Followed by an hour's worth of clean-up!

Does that about sum it up?!

Okay-kay-kay...  Just a quickie update - before the tryptophan kicks in and I gotta get all horizontal!

So, I'd mapped out my "Plan of Attack" yesterday, right?  And started my preparations...  To be honest, I basically printed up last year's post (for the recipes), and I pretty-much followed it to-the-letter, except my stuffing ended up a bit too wet and heavy, so I tossed in a third box of Stove-Top Stuffing Mix! (and when that proved to be a little too dry, I slopped in a little more low-sodium chicken broth and a couple TBS of pure maple syrup).  I ended up with two 8x8 cake-pans of stuffing (and it was Yum-Yum-YUMMY!).

Turkey went in the cooker around 11:30am and was supposed to take appx 3 hours...

Turkey and injection marinade - in the Big Easy basket

I injected the bird before I wrestled it into the basket.  Oh, and the turkey is sitting on two yams (which actually affected the cooking - turkey butt was a wee bit under-cooked, unfortunately - but nobody likes turkey butt anyway!).  Oh, I also rubbed the outside of the bird with Bell's Seasoning (the stuff in the little yellow box), and olive oil...

Bird in the cooker!

So yeah, it was supposed to take approximately 3 hours.  I made the mistake of putting the lid on the cooker for the first hour (and the lid reflects heat "down" into the cooker), then I went about my business.  Came back after the first hour and the bird was *very* brown!  And, in fact, the top thermometer was registering 180*.  Holy sh*t!

I removed the basket and dragged the bird into the house.  Used my digital thermometer on the thigh and it was ALSO registering 170* (meaning "It's done"), but when I removed the digital probe, the juice that came out of the bird was not clear - so back into the cooker (with a generous basting of the "extra" brine + chicken broth)...

So yeah, I assembled my stuffing, covered it and put it in the fridge.  Assembled my Green Bean Casserole...  (those two dishes took almost an hour to put together)  Then went and checked the bird again.  Verrrrrrry dark.  So the turkey came out at the 2-hour mark.  I brought it in, transferred it to a large disposable roaster pan and wrapped it in foil to rest...

Suddenly realized that I had run out of time (AND run out of steam!), so I figured we could skip the Gulliver's Creamed Corn (can have that for Christmas, right?!), and I put hubs in charge of the mashed potatoes while I put the casserole and one of the stuffing pans into the oven (375* - 20 mins + 15 mins for the green bean casserole; 15 mins for browning the stuffing).

I used drippings as a base for the gravy - after separating the fat.  Drippings + one jar + one can of store-bought turkey gravy (it actually was very good - and you could definitely taste the citrus from the drippings!).

Dinner was deeeeeeelish!  And I am stuffed!

And I can't take attractive pictures of dinner with my Droid
"Oh well!"

I had been "taste-testing" as I was cooking, so by the time everything was done - I really wasn't very hungry (Oops!).  Hubs had two servings though - so I think he liked it!

Ohhhhhh...  Then after we'd "digested," Hubs had his regular pumpkin pie, and I sliced into my low-sugar pie.  I've decided that my low-sugar pie is more accurately described as "Pumpkin Mousse Pie" and, as such, it is QUITE tasty.  It's really not cheese-cakey at all and definitely more Mousse-Like.  So I edited yesterday's post accordingly.............

Anyway, Thanksgiving was VERY nice (and ohhhhh soooo filling!).

Hope yours was awesome too!

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