Thursday, November 27, 2008
I send my Thanksgiving Greeting to you today with this picture. It was taken in 1900, and shows an old black woman plucking a turkey. Luckily today our turkeys come pre-plucked, at least for most of us.
I was up at 3:30 this morning getting our turkey going. I love making the turkey, and have perfected one of the best turkey cooking techniques ever. Turkey is sort of my specialty. The secret to a good turkey is to brine the turkey for at least 24 hours. Brining results in a turkey that does not dry out, and literally bursts forth succulent juice when you cut the turkey. So, my turkey has been sitting in the brine for the last 24 hours. Then this morning at 3:30 I got up and rinsed the bird off real well, and then let it sit on the cabinet for about 30 minutes to let it come up to room temperature. Then, at 4:00 AM I put the turkey in the smoker. I am slow smoking it at low temperature over some seasoned pecan wood. Pecan is absolutely the best wood to smoke turkey or chicken over. The flavor is not as strong as hickory. The result will be the most flavorful, juicy turkey you ever tasted. It really does not taste like turkey, but tastes a little like the best piece of ham you ever tasted. I cook the turkey until the internal temperature reaches about 175. This should occur at about 1:00 this afternoon. Then the turkey comes out, and goes onto the table. If you have never gotten into brining and smoking, it is something you should really try.
You can see in the comments that Al and several others promised to come by for Thanksgiving Dinner. We had things all set up for everyone, but none of you showed. So, we will just have to share a Virtual Dinner with you. Boy was it good, and I am about to go back for round two, but wanted to go ahead and share the pictures.