Monday, November 19, 2007

Giving them the Bird: Techniques for dealing with small kitchen fires


One can tell by watching the number of nervous breakdowns in turkey flocks that Thanksgiving is almost upon us. There are many ways to prepare the fowl and I have tried a few myself, but settled on the grill as my favorite way to cook the turkey’s goose, so to speak. While this does deprive the house guests of the delicious aroma of cooking turkey, it does impart a smoky tang to the air in the backyard that is tough to resist. I have also found that the turkey seems to cook faster on the grill and if done properly turns out a lot juicier.

If this is your first shot at giving your family the bird, I might suggest Butterball’s site – they cover the basics very well and have been at this a lot longer than I have. The most important thing you will need, aside for the turkey, is a good meat thermometer, unless you really have it in for the in-laws! You don’t want to kill any of your holiday guests and it is important that the bird is served at the correct temperature (165F). Make sure the bird is well rinsed and kept segregated from all other food and food prep surfaces, and hands are washed after turkey contact. These simple steps will allow your guests to sit on the sofa and fall asleep watching football rather than fighting over who gets the bathroom next.

The actual prep for me starts the night before. I prefer using young boneless turkeys, some times labeled “turkey roasts.” The meat packer has done the carving and put the light and dark meat all in one convenient package. After washing the roast, I apply alight coat of mustard. The mustard will impart flavor and help the rub to adhere to the meat. The rub is a combination of onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, hot paprika, celery salt and brown sugar. I use a tablespoon of each except the celery salt (it tends to have a strong flavor and I don’t want a lot of salt so I only use 1tsp) to 1 cup of brown sugar. This is enough to coat three of the roasts. Mix the ingredients, sprinkle a liberal amount of the rub on all meat surfaces, and pat on to each roast you are doing. Wrap the roast in tinfoil and store in the fridge overnight, or at least four hours prior to cooking.

When ready to grill, set the grill up for the indirect method, that is coals on either side of the roast, with a disposable tin pan in the center. After the coals are going, fill the pan with white wine, beer, apple cider, water, or the beverage of your choice, this will help keep things moist and drop hickory or other type of hardwood chunks on the coals. Place your roast on the grids over the pan and close the lid. The roast will take up to two hours – remember to check with a meat thermometer. During the cooking period mop the roast with a mop sauce. I use ¼ cup of brown sugar dissolve din two cups of cider vinegar laced with crushed red peppers.

I’ve been using this method for several years now and have yet to have any complaints. However your bird meets its fate, may the fire extinguisher remain unused, and you and yours all have a happy Thanksgiving!!

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16 Comments:

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

Happy Turkey Day mate! ;-)


tell me...wut r ya THANKFUL for this year?

Keshi.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger /t. said...

thanksgiving?!?

again? already?!?

man, time flies, eh...

feels like we just did this last month

/t.

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger nanuk said...

Up here filling a plan with any alcoholic beverage simply to impart a nouance of favour is a hanging offence. Have a great Thanksgiving, Phos.

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

keshi: I am thankful for family and friends like you.

ll: Great time for gathering the clan and eating too much!!

/t.:I have to see what it be like with Canadian thanksgiving. I don't know anything about it...

nanuk: No worries I use the same cheap crap the boys living under the bridge drink so no harm done.

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger Dino aka Katy said...

mhhh grilled turkey for thanksgiving - i don't know even so I don't eat turkey I kind of like the smell when its cooking in the oven

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

DAK: The smell is intoxicating!!

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

Fried turkey sounds good.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Ruela said...

Here we don't have thanksgiving :(


sniff!!!

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

awwww...me too Phos!

Keshi.

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

ll:Fried turkey is great, especially if you inject it with flavoured oil before drop it in the fryer...

ruela, keshi: Come on over and I'll set a place for both of you!

 
At 1:05 AM, Blogger Die Muräne said...

we don't celebrate this thanksgiving thingy here in Switzerland. I just know it for the comedies in TV ;)
But it seems to be a very nice rite (unless it comes to the big family riots afterwards :))

 
At 4:26 AM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

DM: You really haev to watch the seating arrangements!

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Chickie said...

That sounds tasty! I'm not too good with cooking whole birds so we let Honeybaked Ham do the work and just buy a turkey breast. It gets eaten all the same.

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Fuff said...

Oh yum!! That sound so much nicer than the usual roast turkey lark.
Hope you enjoy your celebrations.

 
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