Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Post Schmanksgiving Turkey

I don't know if you know this, but turkey is awesome.  It's a shame that most times, the only time anyone goes through the effort of making a turkey is Thanksgiving.  We spent this past Thanksgiving at Schmambs' in-laws.  The food was delicious, but with the family turnout, there weren't many leftovers to bring home.  And Schmambs and I understand the importance of Thanksgiving leftovers.  We were not going to deprive her in-laws of all things turkalicious.  So we concocted the brilliant idea of having a post Schmanksgiving dinner at her house and making all the dishes again so that we would have leftovers.

Two years ago, for my birthday, I requested a turkey dinner.  Schmambs made a bacon turkey.  Instead of flavoring the turkey with all that bacon goodness, she decided to try her mother-in-law's method of brining the turkey prior to cooking it.  We took a few pictures of the brining process, but let's be honest.  There's no way to make a turkey look attractive in salt water in an over-sized clear plastic bag.  With the turkey brining in the fridge, there was nothing left for us to do until the next day.  

I'm a late sleeper and missed Schmambs and Will's turkey stuffing party the next day when they removed it from the brine, seasoned it, and threw it in the oven.  When I got to their house, I took over the duty of rubbing butter over the turkey every few hours to help the turkey achieve a nice bronze color.  Of course, it was a tease every time the turkey came out of the oven as the smells were wafting through the house and I just wanted to dig in!  But there was still more food to make as the turkey cooked.  Mashed potatoes from scratch, stuffing, and green bean casserole.  

Having grown up in a Chinese household, the only other American food (aside from turkey) served during Thanksgiving dinners were mashed potatoes.  In my lifetime, I've had green bean casserole only a handful of times.  I had no secret recipes or family tricks to try.  But the recipe was simple and didn't seem like there was much room for error.  Alas, error found me and we ended up with a pretty inedible casserole.  Sigh.  I think my mistake was not cooking the green beans (yeah, they were raw), and the soup we used was 98% fat free or something like that.  No one goes fat free during a turkey dinner.  No one.  It was pretty though!  Hopefully the next casserole will be a success.  And by success, I mean edible.

Finally, the turkey was done.  A few hours later than anticipated.  Good things come to those who wait.  The turkey was so moist and flavorful!  I'm not sure if we'll ever cook turkey any other way.  The only way for Schmambs to top herself with the next turkey is to feed us a brined bacon turkey.

Eighteen pounds of turkey.  Three adults and a child later, 16 pounds of leftover turkey.  What are we going to do with all that turkey?  Stay tuned and find out.  But on post Schmanksgiving turkey night, this is what we ate.

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