Here was the menu:
Brined and Roasted Turkey
Homemade Clover Rolls
Cream Corn Casserole
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
It was just my husband and I this year but of course I had to go all out and cook enough for an army. We will be having leftovers for a long time.
One of my former co-workers told me about turkey brining and he swears this technique makes the best turkey. I decided to give it a try three years ago and it is amazing. I've brined the last three turkeys that I've cooked. I'm not sure where he discovered this method. I think he told me either America's Test Kitchen or Cooking Illustrated.
This is what you do:
Step 1: Put turkey in a bucket of water with 1/4 cup salt (kosher salt is preferred but you can use table salt) and 1/2 cup sugar. Soak for 1/2 per pound but not more than 8 hours. Keep refrigerated while brining if you can.
Step 2: Let turkey dry overnight in refrigerator. This will help get the skin crisp while roasting. I skipped this step this year but still got a crisp skin.
Step 3: Butterfly the turkey by removing the backbone and flattening the breast with a rolling pin. This will help the turkey cook more evenly.
Step 4: Baste turkey with 1/2 cup melted butter. Cover turkey with aluminum foil
Step 5: Roast turkey in 450 degree over for about 1 hours rotating and re-basting half-way through cooking time. Remove foil and continue roasting for 30 more minutes or until meat thermometer reads 170-180 when inserted in thigh.