People who have near death experiences all talk about a peaceful, euphoric , bright light enveloping them. From the moment we are conceived, we are moving towards that light. This is my heels diggin' in, I don't wanna' go, reluctant journey, into the light. Stephen

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Food Chain/Smoked Turkey

I have never been a big fan of turkey.  I enjoy the obligatory turkey and dressing thing at Thanksgiving, but usually only because there is ALOT of gravy to cover that dried up soulless meat.

So, I'm standing in Albertson's about a week before Christmas and they have turkeys on sale. Dirt cheap, PLUS, buy one get another one free.  "Yeah, but it's turkey."  Then like a flash from God on high, I remembered an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. The joint was in North Pole, Alaska of all places and the dish was brined, smoked turkey. ( Speaking of Alaska and turkey, remember this, )    :-)  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

For my brine I used 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of salt, handful of black peppercorns, some mexican oregano, and a couple each of lemons and oranges sliced and squished.  I started with about a half gallon of water.  Boil the brine, then add enough ice to chill it.  I lined an old ice chest with a plastic garbage bag and in went the turkey and brine. I added more ice till it was "icy" cold and the turkey was completely submerged. It sat  overnight.

My smoker is a "bullet" type you see at Home Depot. I tied the legs and wings of the turkey together to pull them in against the body and it's time to smoke.  Fill the basin pan with water, plug in, throw in a handful of Mesquite chips, throw the turkey on and you're smoking now.  I didn't open the lid for 8 hours, only using the little side hatch to throw a few more chips in a couple times.  165 degrees is the magic number for required internal temperature on smoked turkey.  I checked the temp for the first time at 9 hours and got 158.  Couple more hours and we were home.  165 and Pavlov would have been proud of the saliva my mouth was generating.

clic pics to enlarge

Ladies and Gentlemen of the food jury,  This was the moistest, most succulent, tender turkey I have ever eaten.  No gravy, no additional masking spices, just straight up poultry perfection. Just a  simple salad and some Italian bread to go with it.  I will NEVER cook a whole turkey again unless it's brined and smoked.  Yeah, it takes some lead time, but it is well worth it.  Lots of leftovers however. 

1 container for sandwiches.
1 container for turkey enchiladas
1 container to freeze. ( Think crock pot of beans  and stuff, with the turkey added for the last hour.)
1 small container for the Little Bitch.

That carcass would have made some great stock, but, I was too stuffed to deal with that.  Other than a little lead time investment, this is SIMPLE, blow the guest's taste buds away, gobble, gobble  goodness.  And dirt cheap.  Nothing wrong with sitting on a still fat wallet while stuffing your face.

brined and smoked turkey


Marla said...

It looks and sounds delicious. This year, my family discovered the amazingness of fried turkeys. Have you ever had one? They are so moist and flavorful.

virgil xenophon said...