A Very Bacon (and apple) Thanksgiving

December 1, 2008

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It was all quite lovely.  Not perfect, but pretty close.

Here is how it all shook out:

I brined my 12 pound in apple cider that I had cooked with bay leaves, peppercorns and a good bit of kosher salt.

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Under the skin I stuffed a compoud butter made with fresh rosemary, thyme and sage and bits of raw bacon.

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I shoved more fresh herbs in the cavity and cooked it in my countertop electric roaster on a bed of onions, celery, carrots and apples, seasoned with salt & pepper.

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Having read much about using the roaster to do the bird, I knew that it was important not to open the lid much (if any) during cooking.  I knew I (and other family members) couldn’t be trusted, so I sealed the pan with foil.  This also helped because the lid didn’t quite fit tightly in the beginning until some of my veg had cooked down.  The handle made it easy to keep the vent holes open.

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It took about two hours at 375 degrees. The butter worked great at keeping the bird moist and tasty and provided a great base for some delightful gravy.

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The one thing that people said was a downside of the moist cooking of the electric raoster was the lack of browned skin, but I found that while the whole skin wasn’t crispy and brown, some bits were and since I was carving in the kitchen, it hardly mattered.

The Brussles Sprouts cooked in the pressure cooker in 1/2 cup of chicken broth for a whopping 3 minutes then I tossed them in butter and put them in a casserole dish and sprinkled them with cooked bacon bits and Parmesan.  In an inspired move, I added melted butter to the corn bread crumbs that were generated from making the dressing and covered the Sprouts.  20 minutes in the oven and it was a delicious dish.

I made Buttermilk Sweet Potato Rolls that were tasty, but too dense.  The recipe I used called for the yeast to be added to the dry ingredients rather than starting it in warm water.  My rise was inadequate. Next time I will know better.

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The dressing was a fairly traditional cornbread recipe with apples and bacon (and a splash of bourbon.)  It was tasty as well, but it was a bit drier than we like and I wish I would have used more broth than the recipe called for.

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You will all be glad to hear that there was no bacon in the apple crisp I made for desert!  I used 4 Honey Crisp and 2 Granny Smith apples, fresh grated nutmeg and cinnamon, and tangerine zest (and a little bourbon!)  Quite tasty with some nice vanilla ice cream, and makes a lovely breakfast item, as well.

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Two meals were made from the leftover turkey (and bacon!)

  1. Turkey, Bacon and Swiss Cheese Quiche
  2. Jambalaya (my favorite way to use up various leftovers!)  Do yourself a favor and buy the Zatarain’s Jambalaya mix.  It is perfectly seasoned and you can add whatever meat you have on hand.  Dinner in less than half an hour.  Gotta love it after a two day cooking marathon like Thanksgiving!
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One Response to “A Very Bacon (and apple) Thanksgiving”

  1. jessee skittrall Says:

    omg you are a culinary goddess! I am salivating just looking at the images and reading about it. I need to go eat now….


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