Thanksgiving Prep: Part II

As I write this my dinner roll dough has proofed and my pie is cooling (no window sill in our loft unfortunately, though it would probably not be a good idea to leave anything on our windowsill in the neighborhood we live in…)

My next task should involve the sweet potatoes.  Again a Martha Stewart recipe.  I usually do a sweet potato casserole with a crunchy pecan topping, but this year considering that it’s just the two of us eating, I thought I’d go easy on the casseroles.  Basically the dressing is the only baked casserole I’m doing.  I’m also going to saute some string beans and mushrooms as our vegetable.

Here are my plans for my Turkey.  This recipe was dictated by me to Beatriz so she could send it to her mom.  Since she did all the hard work writing down my turkey recipe I’m just going to copy and paste:

Roast Turkey:

The day you’re ready to cook the turkey, take the turkey out of the bag.  Throw out the brine.   Inside the cavity of the turkey insert half and apple, half an onion, and a sprig of rosemary.  The cavity should not be stuffed, there should be room so the apple, onion and rosemary can breathe and release air inside the cavity.  Place the turkey on a roasting rack, so that you can collect the drippings that fall from the rack (you will need those for the gravy).  If you don’t have a roasting rack take a baking container and put onions and carrots and celery on the bottom of the container.  you don’t need to cut the carrots, the onions and celery can be in big chunks.  Put the turkey on top of the layer of onions, carrots and celery so that it can drip fat and air can reach all sides of turkey.
Start roasting the turkey at 425 F for 30 min.  Afterwards, lower the temperature to 350 for about one hour and 15 min.  A turkey that size should cook for a total of about 1 hour and 45 min. – 2 hours.  Internal temperature should be 161.  During cooking you will baste the turkey.
Basting the Turkey (not as important a step as brining, but it will make the skin nice and brown and crispy)
Ingredients:
1 stick of Butter
1 1/2 cups of White wine
6-8 sage leaves shredded
In a small pot, warm the butter, wine and sage until the butter is melted and everything is combined.  Each time you baste the turkey you can reheat the wine, butter, sage mixture to re-melt the butter.
Do not baste the turkey when you start roasting it.  You baste the turkey for the first time after it’s cooked for 30 min.  When you lower the temperature of the turkey to 350, that is the first time you baste it.  Take a baster or a brush and rub the warm butter, wine, sage on the turkey skin.  Do this every 30 min., so you will only do it about 3-4 times while the turkey is roasting.
Gravy
Ingredients
1 32 oz. carton or 2 14 oz. cans of pre-prepared turkey stock (or chicken stock)
The innards and giblets you took out of the turkey before you brined it.
1 onion cut in half
salt and pepper
2 table spoons flour
de-fatted pan juices that you collected from roasting the turkey at the bottom of the roasting rack or at the bottom of the roasting container underneath the onion, carrots and celery.
While the turkey is roasting, simmer stock, onion, turkey neck and giblets for about an hour until the turkey meat is very soft so that it falls off the bone and the liquid reduced by a third.  Remove the turkey neck and gibblets, when these get cool take the meat off the neck and chop the giblets finely.  Set the chopped giblets and neck meat aside.
After the turkey is done roasting.  Take the turkey off the roasting container and set aside.  Throw out the onions, carrots, and celery at the bottom of the container.  Pour the pan juices into fat separator.  Let it rest to separate.
Put roasting pan, the same one you cooked the turkey in, on stove or if the roasting pan cannot go on the stove, use a different pan.  Put at medium to medium-high heat.  First pour the stock mixture into the pan and then scrape pan to get bits out.  Second, add a just 2 table spoons of flour and whisk the flour until smooth, no lumps.  Third, add the pan juices, and if you want a little white wine but it’s not necessary.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Finally, add the neck meat and giblets.  The gravy should be a little thick but not too thick.
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