Friday, December 31, 2010

Grilled Turkey with Cranberry Gravy (Page 381)

RECIPE #1243

  • Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010 -- 5pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Helen, Charles, Clara, Corbett, Mary, Allison, Ben S., Kendra, Jubin, Watson, Linda, and Bob K.
  • Recipe Rating: A

Part of the reason we threw our pre-Thanksgiving dinner party last month was because I still have several turkey recipes left to make from The Book. We selected this one for our party. I started by prepping the turkey. I stuffed the cavities with some lemon halves and herb sprigs. Then I seasoned the bird with salt and pepper and rubbed it with butter. I put it on a rack in a roasting pan and put some water in the pan. My special gentleman was in charge of grilling the bird. He turned off the middle burner on our gas grill and balanced two disposable loaf pans on the burner tents of the middle burner, under the grill rack. One loaf pan had water in it. We punched holes in the bottom of the other loaf pan and filled it with some apple wood chips which had been soaked in water. My special gentleman put the rack back on the grill and put the roasting pan with the turkey over the turned-off burner. He grilled the turkey over indirect heat for about three and a half hours. Meanwhile, I cooked some cranberries and sugar in a saucepan, then pureed them in the blender. When the turkey was done we took it off the grill and let it rest while we made the gravy. We reserved some turkey fat and discarded the rest of the fat off the pan juices. Then we deglazed the roasting pan. We made a roux from the reserved turkey fat and some flour, then added the pan juices, some chicken stock, and the pureed cranberries. We cooked the gravy until it had reduced appropriately, then we strained it and served it with the turkey.

In a word: Yum! It was easily the best turkey I have ever eaten. The flavor from the grill was amazing, and the meat came out fantastically moist and delicious. On top of that, the cranberry gravy was incredible. I will be making cranberry gravy for years to come. It was so, so good. Everyone raved about this turkey. In fact my special gentleman raved about it so much to his parents on the phone after our party that they requested that we make it again for them -- which we did this week! It turned out great again! We did learn one thing from the repeat preparation though. The Book says to keep the grill between 350 and 375. At home we couldn't get it up to 375 with one burner off, so we cooked it right around 350. Here at Dave and Karen's their grill easily got up to 375, so we cooked it at that temperature. Both turkeys had the same great flavor, but the one at our house was moister, so I would aim for 350 degrees in the future. I don't know how well this method would work for a huge turkey, but if you are looking to cook a 12-14 pound bird I highly recommend this recipe. Yum!!!!

The recipe is here, although the recipe online only gives instructions for a charcoal grill, whereas the one in The Book gives instructions for a gas grill too.

Only 50 recipes left to go!

Well it is that time of year again -- time to reflect on the resolutions I made for 2010 and see how I did:
  • Be a good homeowner and neighbor -- This one has gone pretty well. The house hasn't fallen down and to our knowledge we haven't pissed off any neighbors. So I will call this one a success.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables -- I did pretty well with this one too. I have been stocking the fridge with fresh produce and we have definitely been consuming more fruits and vegetables than in the past!
  • Eat less processed food -- I would call this one a definite success. I stopped buying ramen, boxed mac and cheese, microwave popcorn, crackers, cookies, cereal, etc... more than six months ago now, and it has been great! We never ate a ton of processed food, but now we eat even less and I feel good about it. We make all our own bread, cereal, etc... and it has been great!
  • Finish the Gourmet Project! -- Well, clearly that didn't happen. But I have only got 50 recipes left to go (actually less as I am a little behind in my blogging), and I definitely WILL finish in 2011.
  • Run five 8-minute miles -- Ugh, this also didn't happen. I have no excuse.
  • Do 20 consecutive real push-ups -- Again, didn't happen. I've got no excuse other than laziness.
  • Get a lot of research done in my semester of not teaching -- I feel like I used my time pretty well last spring. I didn't accomplish as much as I would have hoped, but I never do.
  • Bring a lot of energy to my new job in the fall -- I think I did pretty well at this one. I am more or less happy with how my first semester went.
  • Be a good wife and friend -- I hope I did well at this!
  • Put effort into meeting people and making friends in East Lansing -- This went better than expected. I definitely put in a lot of effort trying to meet people, throw dinner parties, etc... and it paid off in a big way. Six months ago I barely knew anyone in East Lansing and now I feel like I have some friends there!
Overall, I feel pretty good about the last year. Certainly I didn't achieve my fitness goals, and that is something I would like to improve upon in 2011. But overall, I accomplished many of the things that I wanted to in 2010. Today I need to do a little reflection and think about what my resolutions should be for 2011!

Happy New Year's Eve!!

1 comment:

temporary kitchen guy said...

I've always preferred goose or duck to Turkey for Christmas dinner (we don't have thanksgiving in England) but my brother, who emigrated to the States 10 years ago, says the turkey tastes different and much better over there. Just thought I'd let you know - it certainly looks great.