For reasons that aren’t important, we will be taking the turkey as the “second meat” to our friends’ house for Christmas dinner. Although we often fry the turkey, it is a bit of a production and then you do have all that oil to deal with after. That leads us to the option of roasting. We did smoke it one year, but that really does take a long time. Hubby is a big fan of Alton Brown and using a brine for the bird is something he strongly recommends. Once again though, you have a large quantity of liquid to deal with after the fact. (It does help that the gallons of brine liquid aren’t boiling hot.)
So, when we were in Georgia for Thanksgiving and Hubby’s cousin said she had used a dry brine this time, he was intrigued. The turkey was excellent and we are giving it a try. It’s a two-part process of mixing the kosher salt, sugar, pepper, etc., together to completely cover the bird, but placing it on a wire rack on a baking sheet uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. Part two is to place an apple into the cavity, mix unsalted butter with more herbs and spices and rub that mixture all over the turkey before roasting at 350 degrees.
Tonight we will be making a modified version of “siete potencias”; a seafood stew traditional in Puerto Rico and other places as the Christmas Eve meal. The origin is apparently African although I’ve never really checked into that. There are of course regional variations and we have done the full seven-ingredient version. With only the two of us though that makes for a lot of stew and it doesn’t keep for more than a few days. Since the kids don’t arrive until Dec 28th, it’s just easier to have less leftovers as I’m stocking the refrigerator for what we’ll have with them.