Roasted off a few heads of garlic this morning and just made up a batch of mashed potatoes with some of that garlic and thyme. Gonna be good tomorrow! I imagine there will be some roasted garlic burgers grilled in the next few days.
Weather is now saying rain will be between 4 and 9am here tomorrow. Perfect timing, as I'll be aiming to get the bird on around 10. After that little front rolls through, it's going to be 68 and sunny.
Just pulled 3 turkeys from brine, going to let dry in fridge. Smoking 2 and frying one.
at 20-22 lbs each going to be starting smoker about 1:00 am. Even with spatch-cocking 2 for the smoker, still looking at 9-10 hours.
got sound system ready for an all nighter....Starting with some old Steve Miller, then maybe some Steely-Dan and Zeppelin...
Old school smoker is great but no automatic pellets, gas, timers...just a pile of split pecan.
Garlic pre-roast this morning, cranberry sauce just getting started. The bird is out of the brine and drying in the spare fridge; cranberry sauce is done and chilling. In the AM, I make the stuffing (which doesn't go in the bird) and prepare the fire and gas grill (I'm going to give it 30-60 minutes on the Performer for some flavor, then finish on the Genesis, where I can lock in temps).
I stopped by the Boneless Chicken Ranch today and picked up this bad boy, errr, girl.
I had never before boned a chicken via the technique called "glove boning." Here, you separate the meat from the carcass without breaking the skin. Took a bit of time to get the hang of it, but now, I have a full, floppy chicken. I am brining it overnight. I will stuff it tomorrow according to a recipe from Marcella Hazan, where the cavity is stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, bread crumbs, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Here is an actual photo of the Boneless Chicken Ranch:
I've smoked a bird the last few years -- this year it's in the oven. The extended weather report was iffy, so we planned for the oven. Christmas I plan on smoking ...
The bird brined overnight, this morning loosely stuffed the cavity with onion, celery, and lemon zest; added 1/4 cup lemon juice to the bird, pouring it in the cavity. The veggies don't do much for the bird, but once the bird rests 15 minutes I completely debone it and start turkey soup with the carcass and the veggies. The soup is cooked before we're done eating. This way we do 2 cleanups -- a preliminary in the morning and one after the meal.
IF anyone is hungry this evening, soup is nice and light to contrast the extremely heavy dinner.
Next time I smoke a bird, I'm going to cut it in half. That looks a LOT easier to deal with!
The fastest way to smoke them is to definitely cut out the backbone and splay it flat. This time I pulled out the breastbone too, a lot of work to do that. I used a stick of butter with a couple cloves of garlic, celery seeds and rosemary crushed with mortor and pestle. Loaded it between the skin and meat by the handfuls.
Wife makes the turkey frame soup as well. She usually freezes it for a few weeks down the road. Good stuff.
Day is beautiful, but the wind has really picked up. Put the bird on about 30 minutes ago, temps in the bullet smoker were hanging at 215, so I wrapped the smoker (big Cabela's hot pad made for smokers) and opened the vents to 100%. Using a little apple wood, slathered the bird with bacon grease and tried to evenly coat with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Didn't do such a good job of evenly coating it.
Trying to kick a keg of beer, need to move another batch into it. It's a tough job, but I think I'm up to the challenge.
Kind of a family joke, but we always say that you can't have a fancy dinner without a proper relish tray. My Mom always throws one out in good humor, usually just a couple olives and a few pieces of celery. I had to make one today and make sure she got a pic, since we weren't together.