Thanksgiving Turkey Smackdown

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We used two 12-pound turkeys for our smackdown. All cooking times and temperatures vary by the weight of the bird, and are usually found on the turkey’s packaging. Both recipes are courtesy of The Wombat.

Brine: A 20 qt. stockpot was big enough for our 12-pound bird. Fill the stockpot with water, and add five tablespoons of star anise, two sticks of cinnamon, one finger of grated ginger and a pinch of salt. Once the spices have stirred into the water, pop in the turkey. It is best to let the turkey sit in the cold brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Traditional Turkey with stuffing

1 cup chicken stock
A loaf of white bread, cubed
4 eggs
1 lb. applesauce
Salt & Pepper

The stuffing: In a large bowl, combine the cubed bread, three tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of finely diced carrots, 1 cup of finely diced celery and 2 cups of finely diced onion. Add the applesauce and the eggs and mix. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and mix it in. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The turkey: Line a roasting pan with large chunks of carrots, celery and onion, using twice as much onion as carrots and celery. Pour in enough of the brine to cover your vegetables and add four large tablespoons of butter. Lay the turkey on top of the vegetable raft, and stuff it with the prepared stuffing. As a final touch, rub the outside of the bird with butter, and sprinkle it with fresh pepper. Fold the wing tips under the bird or they will burn. Put in the oven to roast according to the instructions on the turkey’s packaging and baste frequently.

Australian Turkey with stuffing

2 tablespoons lemon myrtle
4 oz. wild lime comfit (can be made by boiling down fresh limes and sugar together)
1/2 lb. butter
1 cup aboriginal soup (flavored meat stock with a dab of Marmite)
4 or 5 English crumpets, cubed
2 lbs. ground lamb
4 eggs
1 teaspoon Marmite
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced onion
Salt & Pepper

The marinade: In a bowl, mix lemon myrtle, lime comfit, melted butter, salt and pepper to taste and blend. Add the aboriginal soup and mix together. Set aside.

The stuffing: In a large bowl, combine the crumpets, lamb, celery, onion and carrot with the eggs, Marmite, a cup of the aboriginal soup and a tablespoon of Akudjura. Mix well.

The turkey: Place the turkey in a large roasting pan, and pour in several cups of the brine. Stuff the turkey with the prepared stuffing, and pour half of the prepared marinade on the outside of the bird, covering the breast and thighs. Inject the rest of the marinade into the bird at various points in the breast (meat injectors can be found at any supermarket). If the marinade is too thick, add a little bit of water to thin it out, and strain it. Fold the wing tips under the bird or they will burn. Put in the oven to roast according to the instructions on the turkey’s packaging and baste frequently.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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