All posts tagged: turkey

Rotisserie Injection Brined Turkey

I hate needles. I was one of those kids who had to be held down to get my vaccinations. But, years ago, I saw John Madden with a deep fried Cajun turkey during the Thanksgiving day football game. It looked amazing. I had to try it! All the Cajun turkey recipes recommended injecting a marinade, so I dutifully bought an injector kit. I got streaks of marinade and Cajun spices, surrounded by dry, unseasoned meat. I quit injection marinades and deep fried turkey the moment I tried a brined, grilled turkey. After that, I moved from wet brines to dry brines. I prefer the taste to wet brining, and it’s a lot simpler – no heavy pot full of turkey and brine that I have to find space for in the refrigerator. This year, I’m going back…to the future. Modernist Cuisine at Home convinced me to dust off my injector kit, mix up a wet brine, and injection brine my turkey. Injection brining solves a number of turkey problems: Injection brine actually penetrates the meat: …

Rotisserie Turkey Wrapped with Bacon

Everything tastes better with bacon. Last year, an interviewer asked Christopher Kimball what his favorite turkey was. His answer? Turkey larded with bacon. The moment I heard that answer, I knew what I was cooking for thanksgiving this year. Bacon? What does bacon do for a turkey? Turkey breast is very lean, so basting the turkey with bacon fat will help keep the breast moist while the turkey cooks. It adds a hint of salty, smoky flavor to the breast, which helps if you are cooking on a gas grill. I think the extra layer of bacon slows down the cooking on the breast, which is a good thing – the drumsticks need extra time to cook. And, not least, the layer of crisped bacon on the skin adds extra flavor to the relatively bland white meat. Now, is bacon essential to turkey? No. My favorite turkey is still my Dry Brined with Orange and Spices recipe. But, if you want a subtle improvement to a traditional turkey, bacon on the breast is a nice …

Rotisserie Turkey with Cajun Dry Brine | DadCooksDinner.com

Rotisserie Turkey with Cajun Dry Brine

I want an easy Turkey this year. Maybe I’m growing up. Maybe I’m getting lazy. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is at my Mom’s house this time around. I just have to show up with a turkey and a grill*. *Bringing a turkey, a Weber kettle, and a rotisserie ring to dinner is my version of easy. Doesn’t everyone bring a grill to Thanksgiving at Mom’s? This recipe is as easy as I get with Thanksgiving turkey. My definition of easy makes some people flinch, but this is a recipe I can do in my sleep. What do I consider non-negotiable? I won’t give up my rotisserie. I want a normal bird, not one “enhanced with a 10% saline solution.” This bird is dry brined with Cajun rub and salt – and the Cajun rub is already in my pantry. I love Harold McGee’s “bag of ice on the breast” idea, which keeps the white meat down in the 155*F range where it is nice and juicy, while the dark meat gets up to 180*F where it …

Rotisserie Turkey, Dry Brined with Orange and Spices

This Thanksgiving, I’m using all the finesse techniques I’ve learned to cook my Turkey. Here’s what I’m going to do. My first trick is to dry brine the turkey. For years, my gold standard for turkey brines was the apple cider brine from Weber’s Art of the Grill by Jamie Purviance. I am a complete convert to dry brines now, and I wanted to come up with a dry brine that uses the same flavor profile. I have most of the major ingredients from the Weber brine in my dry rub – salt, a little brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic, and cloves. When combined with a chunk of smoking wood in the grill, you get layers of flavor in the bird – sweet, smoky and salty, with an interesting mix of fruit and spices. This is a turkey that doesn’t need gravy to be edible. *You’ll see some bay leaves in the pictures of the dry brine. Ignore them. They’re not really there. These are not the bay leaves you’re looking for. (Waves hand in …

Sear-Roasted Turkey Thighs with Tomato Sage Sauce

My kids start school today, so this week I’m featuring weeknight dinners. Today, I’m using the sear-roast technique on turkey thighs. The sear-roast results in crisp, browned skin, with juicy, flavorful dark turkey meat. Even better, it is done in under forty-five minutes. It’s a touch long for a weeknight dinner, but it is very easy – there is a lot of hands off time in the recipe. This lets me relax and get a couple of side dishes done while I wait for the turkey to finish cooking. The other reason I’ll put up with the extra time on a weeknight is the crispy turkey skin and juicy, flavorful dark meat. I’ve always been a dark meat fan, and the big, flat expanse of turkey skin on the thigh is just asking to be browned until crackling. The thigh finishes cooking gently in the oven, where the dark meat becomes tender and juicy – no dry as dust turkey here; the dark meat gives you a cushion, and is hard to overcook. Finally, the …

Video: Rotisserie Turkey Legs

This is my video entry in the Take On Turkey Challenge: I’ve been meaning to do video blogs for a while now, but I could never get myself started. A large part of why I signed up for the contest was to force myself to make a video.  The contest gave me a deadline, which does wonders for focusing my attention.What did I learn? 1. Speak up! And smile! I have a bad habit of mumbling when I do public speaking. I had to constantly remind myself to project my voice when I was filming, particularly in the outdoor scenes. And would it kill me to smile a little, once in a while?*I took a public speaking class a few years ago where they filmed you giving a presentation in front of a group…and then made you watch it. You learn a lot that way, but they told us to watch it once to get all the negative thoughts out, then watch it again to see what you did right. Because that first time through…holy cow. Watching …

Rotisserie Turkey Breast, Dry Brined

Rotisserie turkey breast is the easiest rotisserie recipe I have.  Yes, I know that cooking on the rotisserie is a bit of a hassle.  You have to hook up the motor, truss your meat, skewer it, and find someplace to put the searingly hot spit when you’re done.  Why do I go through all that?  Results.  Rotisserie cooking just works better than roasting. *Look at the skin in the picture!  Rotisserie cooking gives you perfect browning, and browning is the maillard reaction giving you flavor.  Also, the meat just seems juicier after I’ve cooked it on the rotisserie. I love cooking a whole turkey, but it’s a lot of meat.  If I’m just feeding my wife and the kids, then a turkey breast is a more reasonable amount to cook.  Even so, it’s still a lot of food.  I plan a few extra meals around the leftovers. *If you’re like me, then the leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving.  With this recipe, you can have those leftovers whenever you want! Turkey breast can be pretty …

White Chicken Chili the easy way

This is my quick, weeknight recipe for white chicken chili.  I make it when we need dinner in a hurry, and/or we’ve got some leftover chicken that I want to use up.  It’s a lot less finicky than the full fledged version, and takes advantage of store bought ingredients like canned beans and canned green chiles.  It’s also a lot less spicy, since my kids won’t touch anything that might be a little hot.* *Because of this, I now own a wide range of hot sauces, so I can bump the heat up at the table. Recipe: White Chicken Chili the easy way Ingredients: 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 large onion, diced 1 lb ground turkey or chicken (or leftover chicken, shredded) 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp oregano (preferably mexican oregano) 3 – 4oz cans diced green chiles 4 cans great northern beans, drained 1.5 cups homemade chicken stock or water or (ugh) a 15oz can low sodium chicken broth (just don’t tell me) 1 tbsp brown …