Friday, December 21, 2012

Smoking Turkeys

Smoked turkeys yum, yum. That is what we prepared for this morning. I bought six turkey breasts and two small turkeys and thawed them last night. Some of them are part of our Christmas presents. We packed them into pressure canner bottoms because they are the largest containers we have and mixed the marinate.

It comes from this book. Not the marinate silly but the recipe. It is titled Cranapple Brine for Birds. We use Crancherry though instead and once we tried peach juice which was also good. I think you could switch out what juice you want, maybe using something you grow in your yard. Hmmm... wonder what current juice would taste like? It's kind of tart like cranberries. I might have to try some next year if we get a really good crop. Six half gallon jugs of juice isn't cheap even on sale and some home grown currant juice mixed in with the boughten would help drop the cost. That is what it takes for eight turkey breasts.

We don't usually do quite this many but some are for gifts for Christmas. I think we started smoking turkeys in December because the price is less expensive around Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

The recipe is simple, just put in a pot 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup pickling salt, 4 cups of cranapple juice, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme.  I heat the mixture though the book doesn't say to do so in order to melt the sugar and salt so that all the ingredients blend but not so warm as to make the mixture hot. Then I pour it over the birds. We inject also, which is not in the book. That is what you see Kirk doing in the garage in the above photo. We then leave the birds in the pots with a lid on to keep out the dirt in the garage for about 24 hours.
 

No, the garage doesn't have magical powers but it is cool. And after all you don't want your birds getting all warm and comfy. They might just start playing a little hanky panky and populating. That's why we always do it in December because we don't have a super large refrigerator to hold two LARGE pots and outdoors becomes our refrigerator. Usually the first part December we smoke but everything is getting done late this year if at all. We have to watch the weather and gauge to see that the forecast isn't for too cold, or too warm, or too windy and of course Kirk is off because he is the prime smoker. Not that I can't do it also, I have but I'm busy readying other presents.  

While the turkeys sat marinating, I made lots and lots of jelly. And since I was stirring and stirring, I kept a batch of caramels bubbling on the back of the stove. Takes nigh on to an hour and a half to make the things but yum, yum. Caramels made with goat cream. It doesn't get much better.

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