Thursday, December 4, 2008

Upside down turkey

I decided I wanted more turkey. Our Thanksgiving leftovers didn't last very long, so we went out and bought ourselves an 11 lb. turkey - that's according to the patented weight test Dave and I have developed to weigh the dogs. You see, this turkey didn't have a tag telling me exactly how much it weighed. Obviously I could tell it was smaller than the other turkeys, so I picked it. When we got home, I found out it weighed too little for the scale to detect it (much like the dogs). Dave hopped up on the scale and got his weekly tally (a whopping 142). He then stepped down, grabbed the turkey, and stepped back up. 153!

Not only did I want more turkey, I also wanted to try the upside-down cooking method. I quizzed a foster mom with whom I work on this method, then I came home and found a very basic recipe on Seemed easy enough.

But first I thought I would brine it. I followed this recipe for the brining. First lesson learned: one shouldn't give up so easily on one's quest to find an oven bag at the grocery store just because one has unused kitty litter bags at home that are surely big enough to brine a turkey. That was an awful pain in the arse. (When we first got Danny, we thought we could train him to pee and poo in a litter box. We weren't so successful.)

So anyway, I began the brining last night and put the turkey in the fridge. Today around 3:00PM, I got the turkey out, rinsed it, drip-dried it, then transferred it to our roasting pan, BUT... upside down. I then put slabs of butter in it and on it, according to the first recipe I posted above. Apparently brining one's turkey causes it to cook 20-30 minutes faster, so I checked it after about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and I used my handy meat thermometer - the one I normally use to make sure foster parents don't have their water turned up too high (it works much better on meat). It was just about 180 degrees, though it didn't look finished like most turkeys look. I stuck it back in the oven for approximately 15 more minutes, then took it out and stabbed it all over with the meat thermometer. Everything checked out.

I quickly realized that upside-down turkeys do not turn out nearly as pretty as rightside-up turkeys.

I flipped it right side up, and uh... not much prettier. But we're not making it the centerpiece of any table, so no biggie. Check out this awesome platter! I think I got it at a thrift store a couple years ago (what do you think, Heif?).

We quickly began eating the turkey. I made myself a sandwich, and Dave just had some turkey smothered in ketchup. He likes most of his food smothered in ketchup. It's really precious. He forbade me from taking a picture of him enjoying the delicious upside-down turkey specifically because he didn't want to be featured on my blog, so a picture of my sandwich had to suffice.

It just tasted like turkey to me. :-( Dave swears that it's tastier and juicier, but I sense he's just saying that because he knows the brining and the upside-down cooking was supposed to create those results. When confronted on this suspicion, Dave denied all wrong-doing.



Sara McGinness said...


Brett and I made an early Thanksgiving dinner for the McGinness side of the family AND it was the first time we cooked our own turkey. We didn't realize it until after the fact but we did the upside down method. We had also done the brining but we planned that one. It was amazing, quite possibly one of the best turkeys I have had. So glad that there is actually and upside down cooking method, cause we were a little embarassed about cooking our turkey wrong.

p.s. that turkey sandwich looks yummy

heatlight said...

yummy... just look at that platter. Too bad your ugly upside down turkey is blocking my view of it! I would pay atleast $100 for such a gorgeous piece of dining ware.