Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turducken Success Story

Thanksgiving 2006 and dinner has been served. The Turducken came off the smoker around 11am (12 hour cook) after reaching an internal temp of 170 (probably could have taken off at 165). We wrapped it in foil and waited to cut it until dinner was served.
It was beautiful, cooked through with all the layers distinctively apparent. How did it taste? It was very good. No salty areas after an overnight brine, moist and seasoned just right. Pat myself and my son on the back.

I tried a new candied sweet potato recipe I got off the FoodTV site. This one used Steen's cane syrup and pecans. Very tasty. Will do again. I made the Monkey Bread from scratch using a recipe for dinner rolls. My adjustment was to dip the dough pieces in butter laced with lots of garlic. Yum.
The ham was a standard spiral cut ham from Costco using it's enclosed glaze packet. I inserted whole cloves all over the ham and I also basted it with the juice from some Maraschino cherries before coating with the honey glaze.

My plate

I also put together a cheese plate which no one touched. Sounded like a good idea when purchased the cheese. No one wanted to waste the space in their stomachs.

See my previous posts for other items on my dinner menu. My son made the sweet potato pies. He used my mom's basic recipe but he substituted the vanilla extract with vanilla beans and he used heavy cream in place of the sour cream.

I hope you all had a lovely day and spent quality time with friends and family. The holidays are upon us and lots of cooking to come.

Turducken Ready To Come Off Smoker

After a 12 hour smoke with the temps between 225 and 250 (did drop to < 200 around 5 am for a bit), the turducken is ready to wrap. Took a while to get to 170 degrees internal temp. I'm not going to cut it for a couple of hours but I feel sure it done through and through per my instant read thermometer.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006 Dinner -Day Before Progress and Turducken

Mac and Cheese
Corn Pudding
Turducken Ready to Smoke

Prep Area for Turducken

Sweet Potatoes Ready to Candy

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Deboning the Birds- Turducken

I have ranted and raved about preparing another turducken this year. The best part of these discussions was that my son was going to do all the deboning. Well, he did and the pictures prove it.

The birds are now brining in a solution which includes salt, brown sugar, apple juice, black pepper, allspice, garlic, honey and water. I'll take them out in the morning, give them a good water rinse, pat dry and back in the refrigerator until tomorrow night where we will put it all together.

I made the stuffing tonight so it would be good and cold tomorrow.

Cajun Andouille Stuffing for Turducken

Sweet Potato Pies

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tools of the Trade-Flexible Boning Knife

Bought a new knife. With the deboning that goes with Turducken, I decided to bite the bullet and get an appropriate good knife. Yea, just another excuse to get something I wanted. Now why couldn't I put this on my Santa wish list? Obviously because I would not have it by the time I needed it for Thanksgiving. Duh!

Global 6 1/4 in flexible boning knife G21

..and then I wonder why I'm so hard to shop for.

Weekend Dog Blogging With My Boys

With the holidays approaching, I am very happy to have my son home after 4 years in the U.S. Navy. He and Ziggy enjoying play time together. I think Ziggy is even happier to have him home because now he has someone more willing than me to play and run all over the house and yard with. My boys.

Four more days until Thanksgiving.

Brought to you by Sweetnicks every weekend

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Planning- Turducken Centerpiece

Thanksgiving is less than a week away. I have my menu set. It doesn't vary very much from year to year as my family is particular about what they expect to see and eat. I use to try to be creative but that was met with disappointment and why did you do that, plus a lot of uneaten good food.

(Thanksgiving 2005)

Last year I did make a little change. No, big change. I bit the bullet and ventured into a journey called the "Road To Turducken". See the link below for a step by step description from de-boning to presentation. Turducken when prepared correctly can make a mediocre dinner great. They loved it. My family finally approved of a slight change. This year I'm toying with smoking the turducken on my WSM smoker. Still on the edit board for now.

I hesitated to do it again this year but then, I solicited my son to help. As an side note: He just completed a 4 year tour with the U.S. Navy and is coming home this weekend. With four years experience as a CS3 (Navy Cook), he will be side by side with me in the kitchen. Many of you know that I rarely let anyone assist me in the kitchen but then, I have to see what the kid learned. Second side note (just had to find a way to get this bit of info in): He will be starting culinary school this spring at the CIA in Hyde Park.

In getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner, I took my turkey out of the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator. The duck and turkey will come out today. I organized all my recipes (tried and true) and will complete a big portion of my shopping this weekend. I'm still insearch of a good kid friendly punch. We are all tired of Hawaiian punch and southern iced tea.

Come back for frequent posts on preparing thanksgiving dinner at Sylvie's house. See the links below for previous posts of the recipes. I'll add recipes or cooking descriptions for other items over the next couple of day.

Turducken 1
Turducken 2
Turducken 3
Southern Greens
Bertha's Mac and Cheese
Bertha's Corn Pudding
Sweet Potato Pie
Monkey Bread
Honey Glazed Smoke Ham
Green Beans
Candied Yams
Cranberry Compote

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Beach Front BBQ Competition- Four Q BBQ

First Place- Pork Butt

Second Place-Brisket

Third Place- Chicken

Great ribs- (though we didn't get to "walk")

Four Q BBQ With Trophies

See my photo set of the weekends events on Flickr and additional photos on Flickr by
Survival Gourmet

Preliminary Report- Four Q Cleans Up!

I'll have to post later to include pictures and a more comprehensive writeup, but I just couldn't wait to let you all know how we faired.


First Place- Pork Butt
Second Place- Brisket (missed first by 1 point)
Third Place- Chicken

...and an overall rank of Third Place (missed Grand Reserve by 4 points)

Go Four Q

Monday, November 06, 2006

Four Q Ready for the Beachfront BBQ Competition at Imperial Beach

Well, our Four Q BBQ team met yesterday to finalize our plans for this coming weekend. Yes, we will be one short with BBQ Junkie who usually does chicken, taking off this event to take care of family and so the three of us (Survival Gourmet, Professor Salt and me)are going to pull together to prepare the chicken for this event.

I added just a little food porn. Choosing which prep to use during the competition was tough. We have our plan set with all of us combining our efforts.