Thanksgiving is a new tradition for me. The first time I cooked a turkey was very nervous since it is a large bird to cook. But in this recipe I liked to share my Stuffed Turkey and sides from Thanksgiving 2012.
1. While buying turkey I generally buy one with an inbuilt thermometer. It makes life a little easy when you running around preparing sides. I buy a defrosted turkey so that I don't spend time defrosting it. I start cooking my turkey typically the night before thanksgiving, once I get the turkey home and rub the turkey with salt and set aside.
2. I like to marinate the turkey so that the flavor sinks into the flesh of the turkey. But since turkey is a big bird, I use a poultry injector to inject the marinade into the bird. For the marinade, I used a mixture of cajun spice, tabasco sauce and bourbon whiskey. After mixing the ingredients well. I inject the marinade into the thigh and breast.
3. Pour the remaining marinade over the turkey and let it stay overnight.
4. On the morning of thanksgiving, I wake up nice and early and start cooking. I start with the stuffing, chop all the vegetables( apples, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion) into small pieces and put in a bowl.
5. Add white bread cubes, chicken broth and pinch of pepper to the bowl and mix well. Use a wooden spoon and put the stuffing in the turkey. Use some toothpicks and cover the open with the flap of skin.
6. To finish the prep for the turkey, I glaze it with another marinade. I put a pan on stove, add a bottle of beer, red powder,pinch of pepper, butter and cajun spice. Mix well and set aside.
7. Pour half the marinade on the turkey and preheat-heat to 400F and add the turkey into the oven.
8. While the turkey cooks, lets get started on the sides for dinner. Cranberry sauce : Put a pot on medium to low flame , add cranberries, a cup of water, a cup of orange juice and some orange peel. Lower the flame to and let it to boil.
9. While the sauce is cooking, I chop the stems off the brussel sprouts and place them on a bake tray. Sprinkle the brussel sprouts with pinch pepper, salt and olive oil and set aside.
10. Simmer the cranberry sauce and once it gets thick switch the stove off and set aside. Add the brussel sprouts in the oven and let them cook for approximately 45 minutes ( or when they appear brownish like in the picture)
11. While cooking a thanksgiving meal, it's key to plan your sequence of dishes otherwise you might feel overwhelmed. For the sweet potatoes, open the can , drain the syrup and rinse with cold water. In a bake tray, add the sweet potatoes, brown sugar and cinnamon.
12. After approximately around an hour an half or two hours into the cooking of the turkey, I rotate the turkey pour some more marinate and let it cook.
13. For grilled vegetables, I sliced some carrots and asparagus and sprinkled salt, pinch of pepper and olive oil. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes and set aside
14. Around three hours into cooking, I start watching for the thermometer to make sure when it pops. Once the thermometer pops, I set the oven on broil for 5 minutes to get a nice brown on the turkey.After that the turkey is ready to be served. Don't let the turkey sit in the oven since it will over cook.
15. For the gravy, drain some of the turkey juice in a bowl and mix a tablespoon of flour and a teaspoon of cornstarch and whisk continuously till a uniform sauce is formed. To garnish add a pinch of pepper. Enjoy your thanksgiving turkey and sides.