Sunday, November 21, 2010

The BEST Roast Turkey Ever (Happy Thanksgiving!)

Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing Anthony Bourdain speak about his adventures in food and travel. One thing he said has been stuck in my mind ever since: cooking is a way to communicate. This gets at the heart of why I love food. My family and my friends have always communicated this way--from the time I was young, the cure for the common cold was generally leek and potato soup. And, of course, my first care package for a college apartment was a box that included flour, sugar, chocolate chips and really quality vanilla extract.

On that note, my boyfriend and I got together with some of our friends this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving together, a bit early. I figured it would be a great opportunity to spend time with everybody and prep sides to share with you on this blog. However, I came down with a bit of the flu and ended up only doing some prep work (chopping ingredients for the stuffing) and then taking a nap for the rest of the day in my friend's bed... 

And so, without further ado, I offer up a recipe for the best turkey I have ever had. My CRT, a turkey-making expert (who also completed all of my other recipes and took photos for me while I was sick), followed Alton Brown's recipe, except he did not brine the bird beforehand and he let the internal temperature get up to 171 degrees Fahrenheit, rather than 161. This produced an incredibly juicy and flavorful bird, and the end product was Norman Rockwell-style beautiful (but we didn't pause for long enough before eating it to get a picture.) So, here is the turkey in prep:

Alongside the turkey, we opted for homemade cranberry sauce. Another thanksgiving favorite, baby Brussels Sprouts, is on the menu for later this week. Please enjoy and have a healthy and happy holiday.

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