Sunday evening, Brittles and her hubby had our group over for our first (annual!) Friends-giving. 🙂
It was a huge success! Everyone brought something super yummy and there was WAY too much food, contrary to what we believed would be the case seeing as there were nearly twenty people there. We ate tons of food and played a massive game of Cards Against Humanity after dinner, which has to be one of the most amusing games ever.
There was several salads, both sweet and regular mashed potatoes, spiked apple cider, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, stuffing, roasted vegetables, rolls, freshly baked bread, honey-glazed ham, turkey, and much, much more. Everyone volunteered to bring something so I decided to take a swing at making a turkey. Thankfully, it was a huge hit! I was super worried it would be dry or salty or bland because it was my first attempt ever at roasting a giant bird. It was definitely quite an experience trying to move a twenty pound turkey around.
After doing lots of research, I decided to brine the turkey in Newcastle beer and cover the top with a blanket of bacon before throwing it into the heat. I also used lots of herbs, lemons, and vegetables in the brine.
Here’s my fun twist on the delicious meal we eat around this time every year. I hope you can enjoy it as much as we did!
For turkey roasting times and conversions, check out this site: http://www.butterball.com/calculators-and-conversions
For the brine:
5 12 oz. beers of your choice – about 60 oz. (I used Newcastle)
60 oz. cold water
30 oz. chicken stock
1 cup salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 lemon, squeezed
1 onion, sliced
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 fresh sage leaves
In a large pot over the stove, begin heating the beer on low temp with the salt and brown sugar until they are dissolved completely and the beer is simmering. Add the celery, carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage and lemon. Heat for about 10-15 minutes at a simmer and don’t allow the mixture to boil. Turn off the heat, add the cold water and chicken stock and place in the refrigerator to cool.
Once the mixture has been cooled, place the turkey and the brine together in a brine bag for at least 8 hours. I would prepare the brine the night before and add the turkey before going to bed.
For the turkey:
1 thawed or fresh turkey (I used a 20lb. turkey)
1/2 onion, sliced
1 stick of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, whole
1 lemon cut into wedges
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 fresh sage leaves
1 lb. bacon
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove the turkey from the brine and place atop a rack breast side up in a shallow roasting pan. [Tip: If you don’t have a rack, crunch some aluminum foil into small balls to raise the turkey from the bottom of the pan.] Rub all surfaces of the turkey (inside and out) with salt and pepper. Place the onion, celery, garlic, lemon and herbs inside the turkey. Lace the bacon on the top of the turkey to create a weaved pattern.
Now your turkey is ready to roast! Place the turkey in the oven according to it’s size. My 20 lb. turkey took about 4 hours to roast.
Check the temperature of the turkey to ensure it is fully cooked through. Poultry needs to be at about 165 degrees.
Carve and enjoy!! 🙂