Saturday, October 22, 2011

Turkey Brine and Left over Turkey Casserole

We've had a turkey in our freezer for just about a year.  It needed to be cooked.  I have been wanting to try a bird brine (haha) for a while now, so I thought this would be a good opportunity.  I screwed it up in one way but all and all it was awesome and I will totally do it again.  Maybe next I will do it right.  How did I screw it up you ask?  I didn't leave it in the brine long enough.  Doh!  So, I kinda thought since Thanksgiving is rounding the corner, I would give the whole turkey brine thing a shot and maybe inspire a few people to try something new with the T-day bird this year.

Turkey Brine and Left Over Turkey Casserole

What you'll need:

For the Brine
8 pints cold water
3/4 cup sugar
Juice from 2 lemons
Juice from 2 oranges
1/4 cup old bay
5 or 6 bay leaves
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon all spice

Add everything into a large large large soup pot (make sure its big enough to submerge your turkey). Mix until sugar and salt has dissolved.  Place washed turkey into brine and place in fridge for 8-24 hours.  Longer the better.  Remove from brine and bring to room temp.  The normal rule of turkey cooking is 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees.  I did mine at 450 for 30 minutes than kicked the oven down to 325 for 3 hours.  It was done just shy of the timer.

For the Turkey Casserole
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced celery
3 diced carrots (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 yam peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 sweet potato peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup diced onion
1 parsnip diced (about a cup. I'm new to the parsnip family.  It was white, if that matters.)
1 small head of broccoli cut into bite size pieces
1 cup frozen peas
3-4 cups turkey or chicken (cooked)
2 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups biscuit mix
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350. In a pan heat oil over medium heat and add onion, carrots, parsnip and potatoes.  While you prepare everything else let these cook moving every so often.  In a medium bowl whisk together mushroom soup, milk, salt and pepper.  Set aside.  In another bowl, prepare your biscuit dough.  Mix 4 cups biscuit mix with one cup water, it will seem dry but thats how you want it.  Read the directions on your mix's box and make sure its not telling you to add something mine didn't.  Follow those instructions.  Set dough aside.

After your carrot/potatoes have been cooking for about 15 minutes and are about half cooked add them into a 9x13 baking dish.  To that add peas, broccoli and turkey and mix together.  Pour soup mix over everything.  Plop 6 to 9 dough balls on top, just make sure they have a little space between then to rise.  I had 6 biscuits, I would probably stretch it to 8 if I made this again.  Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes or until biscuits are brown on to and no long doughy underneath when you slightly lift them up.  Grab a bowl, and if your Kameron, some sriracha, and eat up!

I had more turkey photos from the brine and whatnot, but I lost them. This this is what I've got. One.

So, I can't tell you any time if my life that I have eaten a parsnip.  So a while back I decided I would start buying produce that I have never really eaten before and learn to cook with it. One of those ingredients would be the beets I made with the orange glaze a while back.  So, turnips are awesome! You should try them if you haven't already!  This dinner is so simple and so fall weather appropriate.  You could really make any sort of gravy or pot pie type filling and bake biscuits or even corn bread on top and have a equally awesome dinner.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Perfect! I have a year old turkey hanging out in my freezer too. And I can't recall eating a turnip either so I'll give it a try.