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Smoked Turkey

Guys, over the years we’ve made a lot of turkeys. We’ve roasted turkeys, grilled turkeys, fried turkeys, soaked turkeys in bourbon, and even wrapped them in bacon. We’ve made and eaten a turkey at Fauxgiving, our annual cook-and-serve-for-the-blog fest every year since we started this site (so… 7 years?). That doesn’t even mention the turkeys we’ve made on our own time. That’s all to say, that I think I have a new favorite way to prepare my Thanksgiving turkey, and it’s compliments of our smoker.

 

smoked turkey 5

smoked turkey 4

 

If I had to choose a best investment of the 20teens it would definitely be our smoker. We’ve smoked everything from pork shoulders to oysters, and have loved every single thing that’s come out of it. The turkey was no exception. It was the most beautiful dark brown color on the outside and, thanks to the brine, was juicy and delicious on the inside. The smoke flavor shone through really nicely, and it was a fantastic compliment to everything else on the table (which is turkey’s main job, right? To support the cheesy potatoes?). A testament to its overall quality? By the end of the night it was picked clean. There was not a shred of meat left on that bird. That’s the kind of feedback I’m looking for!

 

smoked turkey 3

smoked turkey 2

 

Smoked Turkey

12-14lb fresh or thawed turkey

2 lemons

Head of garlic

 

for the brine:

3/4 cup kosher salt

1 lemon

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp peppercorn

4 cloves garlic

Water

 

for the baste:

1 cup olive oil

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp sea salt

 

Thoroughly rinse your turkey and place in a large pot or container. Cover with water. Mix in salt, halved lemon, bay leaf, peppercorns, and garlic. Cover and let sit overnight, or up to 2 days in a chilled environment.

 

Smoking turkey takes approximately 20 minutes per pound, so for a 14lb bird make sure you schedule yourself about 5 hours of smoking time, plus an hour for the meat to rest. Load your smoker up with the wood of your choice (we went with Jack Daniels barrels chips because the hardware store had them and that seemed fun), and hit your bird with a nice coat of baste. Quarter the lemon and stuff the cavity with the lemon and garlic heads (whole and peeled).

 

Heat your smoker to 200 degrees and get rolling! Baste your turkey once or twice every hour, and after 3.5 hours start checking the temperature when you baste. Your optimal temperature for poultry is 165F in the breast, so once you hit that you want to pull the bird out of the smoker and allow it to rest. Once its rested for an hour and the juices have had the opportunity to redistribute, slice and enjoy!

 

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Lovely Internet 11.15.15

1. Today we mourn for the people of Paris, for the people of Beirut, for the people of Kenya, for the people of Syria, for the people of every terrorized and war torn nation, including our own. We mourn for the people whose lives are taken because of hate, bigotry, and fear. And we remember, above all things, that terror has no religion, or people.

2. The way people eat is changing.

3. Woah.

4. Keeping pork pure in NC.

5. What it means to slaughter an animal you care for.

6. Sex positive parenting.

7. Thanks for modernizing this, Alanis.

8. The real question here is, can I eat this for breakfast?

9. Have you watched Master of None? Everything I hear about it is amazing.

10. Listen to how Civil Rights activists in the 1950s were described and compare it to how Civil Rights activists today are described. Sound familiar?

 

For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitter (@elenabrent or @biscuitsandsuch), instagrampinterest or facebook. Subscribe to my bloglovin’ feed to make sure you never miss a post. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

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Fermented Hot Sauce

Over the summer I was gifted a bounty of hot peppers from my brother Reid and my friends at Greenlands Farm. We chopped a few up fresh for meals, but the vast majority of them went into pantry to ferment into our own homemade hot sauce.

 

hot sauce 7

hot sauce 6

 

Since I visited Tabasco a few years ago I’ve been itching to make my own hot sauce, to try my hand at making our favorite condiment. I did a bit of research and came up with a method that seemed practical- mix ground up peppers and salt together and allow to ferment in the pantry for 2 weeks or more. Then, push through a sieve and enjoy! Done and done.

 

hot sauce 5

hot sauce 4

 

First, I weighed my peppers, then I blended them up with a few cloves of garlic and mixed in the salt. My research showed that the amount of salt you use should equal 2% of the weight of the peppers. So since my  peppers weighed in at 544g, I added 10.88g of sea salt. Easy enough equation. Then I packed to jars (a large pint jar and a quarter pint jar) full of my peppers and loosely covered. This is important, the peppers need air so that lactofermentation can happen. So they were covered, but not tightly sealed.

 

hot sauce 3 hot sauce 2

 

I was initially going to give them 6 weeks to ferment, but then I forgot about them and life got busy and it ended up being about 15 weeks. Just call it well aged! Yesterday, after scraping off a little bit of (harmless) white mold that had developed on the top, I pushed the peppers through a fine mesh sieve, which resulted in a whole cup of hot sauce. Some recipes have you add vinegar, but since I liked the viscosity of the sauce as it was, I decided not to. All said and done the work that went in to making the sauce was nominal, and I was very pleasantly surprised by how much finished sauce we ended up with! I can’t wait to have it on the table this Thanksgiving, and I’m thinking this will become a staple on the list of things I ferment, pickle, jam, and put up each fall.

 

hot sauce

 

Fermented Hot Sauce

 

600g mixed hot peppers and chiles (jalapeño, habanero, scotch bonnet, ancho, etc)

4 garlic cloves

12g sea salt

Jars for fermentation

Bottles for finished sauce

 

Remove the stems from your peppers. Blend in a food processor along with garlic, until a mash is created. Mix in salt and pack into clean fermentation jars. Cover, but do not seal tightly. Allow to ferment in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks, or up to a few months.

 

After the peppers have fermented to your liking remove the lids and scrape off and dispose of any white mold that may be present. Push the pepper mash through a fine mesh sieve and extract all the liquid possible. If your sauce is thicker than you’d like, you may add apple cider vinegar until you achieve the viscosity you desire. Transfer into bottles and seal. Enjoy!

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