Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beer Basted Turkey

You may not think beer when you think of turkey but after you try this you will. This came about this summer (and I am only now sharing it) because I was eating the stockpile of food in my freezer. I was down to the turkeys. I love turkey! My favorite way to cook it is brining but it takes forever!! Come to think of it, I've cooked a bird just about every way marinated, brined, bagged, basted with wine, with butter...why not beer too!! The beer gives the same juicy results And this is simple. Yes simple. Promise!

Beer Basted Turkey

1 cube Butter (salted)
1 orange zested
1 clove of garlic chopped
3 Beers (better get a 12 pack because the cook and the cooks helpers might need one)

Leave the bird in your fridge for about three days to defrost. DO NOT DEFROST ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER.

Unwrap your bird in a CLEAN sink. Rinse the bird with cold water. Your bird hopefully has a bunch of STUFF inside the bird. Pull it all out and save it. The neck and organs can be used for gravy. I like to have a stack of paper towels to dump the bird onto. Pat the bird dry. PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER AFTER EACH TIME YOU TOUCH THE BIRD.

If you have a Turkey pan with the racks, then great but if not then just use a deep cookie sheet. Line the bottom of the pan with celery, carrots and onions (1 onion)

Now take the lemon or orange and stuff it inside the front and back of the bird.

oil the outside of the bird and sprinkle salt and pepper all over the bird. Most birds come trussed already with a plastic ring holding the legs together. That is fine. Leave it on. If you do not have the plastic holder on your bird, you can take some kitchen twine and tie them together. If you have none, don't freak out! it can be cooked without. It just isn't as pretty.
Pour 2 cans of beer in the bottom of the pan
Open one can and melt the butter in it with the orange zest and garlic

I cook my bird BREAST SIDE UP. You will see all these recipes where you turn the bird. This is the EASY recipe. So need to worry about any of that.
Here is the technical part. I cook my bird at 400 degrees. Cook the bird 15 minutes per pound. If the top of the bird gets too brown, cover (tent) with foil for the remainder of the cooking. I will baste the bird every 30-45 minutes. But you could baste only once an hour and it would still taste great!
Keep basting
This bird comes with a pop up timer, I don't rely on them but they are a great help
An hour into the cooking I added potatoes to the bottom of the pan. They will soak up all the butter and beer
When the timer goes off, have your meat thermometer ready. I like to stick the thermometer first in the breast, not touching the bone! It should read 165 and not less, not more. Then I stick it in the thigh, again not touching the bone. It should read 175.
Let the bird rest for 15 minutes.

While the bird is resting, scoop out the potatoes. You could mash into mashed potatoes but I am going for ease so I am just dumping into a bowl.
Pour out all the juices from the bottom of the pan. You can see the juice on the bottom I want to keep and the fat on the top that I want to discard
Skim off the fat, the best you can
Melt 3 TB of butter in a pan and add 3 TB of Wonder flour to it. You are creating a roux. Cook off the flour for a minute
Add the drippings to the pan, whisking the whole time.

You may need to add more stock. Boxed Turkey Stock works fine. Taste and see if it needs salt and pepper.


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