Holiday Gift Guide

Thanksgiving came and went. Usual things were made. Soup, salad, bird, all the side dishes, nice dessert, including pumpkin creme brulee. You can look at my previous year's spread since many of the items were pretty similar.

One freaky thing happened. This year's bird was 20 lb, and general rule of thumb is 15 minutes per 1 lb of bird to cook in the oven. We set the dinner time as 4pm, and given 30 minutes of resting time, I figured I should put the bird in the oven at 10:30. I have a probe that directly sticks into the oven, and set the desired temp as 161.

Of course I basted the bird every 15 minutes with a nice mixture of giblets, chicken broth, white wine and loads of butter.

At 12:30, it was 157 degrees. I freaked out. By 12:37, the oven shut down since the bird already reached 161 degrees. I still had more than 3 hours before dinner time. I didn't know what to do and started cursing, ran to my computer and googled keywords like "turkey done too early" and thank god, there seems to be a lot of people who experience the same thing. Some said to eat it cold, but I couldn't possibly fail the main course of Thanksgiving, especially with my track record, I couldn't have cold turkey on Thanksgiving. Some site said to lower oven temp to 140 degree, and cover the bird and sit tight. So that's what I did.

I was very disappointed about this. What might have taken 5 hours to cook was done in 2 hours?! Why?!

This year, I used Alton Brown's brining technique. I've done it before and remember it was very moist and tasty. You basically dump the bird in salt bath overnight, which keeps the moisture intact. Bravo to brining.

Though I thought the bird would be completely dry from sitting in the oven for 3 hours more than it needs to be, THANK GOD it was still VERY moist and tasty at 4pm. I don't know the science behind this, but I am determined that I will use this recipe every year. Very fool proof.

Alton Brown is a genius. He might be dorky for making food very scientifically, but he obviously knows what he is doing.

I went to Eleni's on Wed, and found these cookies. Though Mr. and Mrs. Turkey were $3 a piece, I had to have them. They were actually tasty.

Next big meal: Christmas. For the first time in years, I am staying in New York. Crown pork roast is what I am thinking.



  • duuude! i made an alton brown turkey too! in tokyo! it was amazing. i heart alton.

    yoko on

  • agreed about alton: he knows ALL the best tricks and techniques… even when i have a recipe from somewhere other than his show, i check to see what he has to say about the techniques. LOVE him…

    i actually do a dry brine technique, combined w/ compound butter under and on top of the skin, aromatics in the cavity, and (of all things) a turkey roasting bag, LOL. i know it sounds cheesy, but it works like crazy. anyway, i actually roast my bird the day BEFORE t-day and stick it in the fridge. it is super-simple to carve when it’s cold. i then place some of the fat from the bottom of the pan on top of the platter of sliced, cold turkey, cover it w/ saran wrap, and microwave. no jokes, it’s the best turkey EVER, despite not being “fresh from the oven”.

    man, i miss thanksgiving already! =) luckily, there is the xmas cooking to look forward too!

    kayce. on

  • Hahaha, no, I went to Nissin Delicatten in Nishi-Azabu. They even have American style steel shopping carts there. But the prices are really NOT American. They are like “Hi, I’m a crimini mushroom. I’m exotic and I hail all the way from Soledad, CA. By the way, me and my 5 buddies are 700yen.”
    But the turkey wasn’t that expensive. It was 2800 yen for a 7.5 pounder.

    yoko on

  • You can buy turkey in Japan? Did you go to US base in Yokohama?

    Yamahomo on

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