I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Repost: My Brown Paper Bag Thanksgiving Turkey & Marinade Recipe

Found at 20MinuteSupperClub.com

Every year, I get one request from my mother in law and her sisters to bring as they call it "my New Orleans turkey". Believe me I have offered to bring lots of other stuff and I mean LOTS.

I've tried to explain that while I have lived and loved and learned in New Orleans I am not from New Orleans. They don't get it. {Insert pic of me shaking my head}

Sidenote: Unless you are from Louisiana you don't understand that people from outside of Louisiana think New Orleans is the entire state. It isn't. (Maybe New Yorkers get it?)

I've made this turkey since I cooked my first complete Thanksgiving at age 15. My grandmother's arthritis flared that week and I was on my own.

I do two things to my turkey. First, I whip up a marinade (see recipe below) and inject the turkey. Sometimes, I will do it up to two days before; the longer the better.

Second, I cook my turkey in the oven nestled inside a brown paper bag.  The bag crisps the skin of the turkey, helps it baste itself and is a very hands off.

My marinade: 
Cajun style or as the in laws call it 'New Orleans'

3 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons season salt, I prefer Tony Chachere's
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon parsley (dried flakes are okay too)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons Mrs. Dash
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup honey (can substitute molasses if you like or do a half honey/half molasses)
12 ounces chicken stock
12 – 16 ounces beer
¼ cup butter

1) You can grind them up until they are a powder if you want.
Sidenote: the smoother the marinade the easier it is to inject.

2) Place the liquid ingredients in a small saucepan and add the ground dry ingredients. Bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and let cool completely.

3) Using a syringe with a large needle, inject the turkey every inch or so under the skin especially in the joint and breast areas. 

Do this at least 24 hours before cooking but I have done it in less 8 hours or overnight.

After the marinade you can cook the turkey how ever you like, deep fried, smoked, roasted, etc.

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