Dry-Brined and Grilled Turkey

Final Grilled_Turkey_PicSince we still have Christmas and New Years, there is still time to make this incredibly great turkey. It’s an easy method, easiest I’ve used anyway, and we were delighted with a super moist perfectly done bird.

So plan just a bit ahead and this beauty can be yours.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 turkey (ours was nearly 12 lbs which is about the best size)
  • 4-6 tbsp of kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • bunch of varied fresh herbs such as parsley, sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Start with a fresh turkey if possible, otherwise thaw completely 3-4 days before cooking day. Remove giblets and use in whatever manner you normally do.
  2. Slide your fingers and hand under the breast skin from both sides until you have loosened it all, and then push down around the thighs and legs loosening it as well.
  3. Take about 1 tablespoon of salt in hand and reach into the right breast and work the salt around. Then do the left side, and then using a bit less for each leg and thigh area. Put about a tablespoon in the cavity. Then salt the entire outside using a tablespoon or two.
  4. Once done, place in a cooking bag of turkey size, secure the opening well, and place in the. You want to “brine” this for 3 days. Each day, turn it over, from breast to back. (You can use 2 days or even one if you must be it is best if you can do this for the entire three days)
  5. At the end of the third day (evening before the cooking), remove from the bag, dry as much as you can and place on a regular roasting rack over a baking dish. Doesn’t matter which side is up. Place in the fridge again, uncovered and leave until about an hour or so before you are going to start grilling. The drying process will make the skin nice and crispy.
  6. Remove from fridge an hour or so before grilling. Pour olive oil over the back and using your hands, massage the entire back of bird, making sure it’s nicely oiled. Turn over and do the same to the breast and legs. Tuck the wings under the bird with breast up.
  7. Fill the cavity with fresh herbs. You can also add onions if you wish.
  8. Heat up the grill.
  9. If using charcoal, line the sides of the grill leaving a big space in which you would place an aluminum roasting pan. You will put the bird over the pan with the charcoal piled on either side. Cover with the grill. Grill, turning the breast down about half way until temperature registers 165° in the thickest part of the leg.
  10. If using a gas grill (which we did), heat up the right and left jets but leave the middle one off. This is where you would place the turkey. Place turkey in the middle, and close the top. Continue on high for an hour. Turn the bird, go another hour. Ours was done in 2 hours perfectly.
  11. Remove from heat, tented with aluminum foil and leave for at least 30 minutes, or until you are ready to eat. It’s easier to carve when it’s cooled.

SERVES: 10

NOTES: I vastly prefer the gas grill since you don’t have to worry about the mess of trying to add briquets and the temperature remains even throughout the cooking time. Also when you are done, you can shut the grill down, and just leave the bird in for its resting time.

SOURCE: Adapted from about 4 recipes and my own preferences.

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Corned Beef Bonanza

cornedbeefOh corned beef. What a wonderful meat it is. So great for sandwiches and so perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

There are, as you can imagine, a zillion recipes out there for how to make it, and so many insist that they are authentic (Irish recipes that is), and so many are really awful, leaving you with some shoe leather or watery tasteless stuff.

This is, I thought, a bit unusual, but it worked wonderfully. Easy and carefree (so you can devote your time to some fun things like soda bread and colcannon) and deliciously tender and juicy.

In a word–or words–we loved it. And the left overs were put to good use–(stay tuned for a great casserole recipe)

So next year come St. Paddy’s Day, do buy a big old corned beef and give it a go.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 good-sized brisket with its spice packet
  • 1   12 oz bottle of a good lager beer
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 c peppercorns
  • half a bulb of garlic (cloves peeled and separated)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place everything in a slow cooker (crock pot).
  2. Add enough water to cover the meat.
  3. Start on high, and once boiling, reduce to medium or low.
  4. Cook for 4-5 hours.
  5. Remove and let sit for ten minutes or so to let it firm up.
  6. Slice or shred as you desire.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can if you wish, place the cooked beef in a pan, place a glaze over it and put in a hot oven for a few minutes. Some like a mustard glaze on their corned beef. As I said, the leftovers make some fun casseroles and I’ll post that recipe in a couple of weeks. Also of course, there are the ever-great corned beef sandwiches!