This marked our first Thanksgiving in Las Vegas as well as the first Thanksgiving April and I have not spent with family since being together. Naturally we wanted to do something to cope with the absence of family and also the lack of food. So we decided to make our own traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
We are both excellent cooks but neither of us has ever made a turkey before. Sure we've helped out at various holiday meals and such, but making a T-Day dinner from start to finish? Hell NO!
Undaunted, April went out and bought us one fine turkey. A 13 1/2 pounder to be exact. We planned on a much smaller bird, but the sale price was so good (about $5.30 for the damn thing) the one she got was the smallest one available. What the hell, right?
Anyway, we made stuffing from scratch, baked potatoes, cooked some yams (canned - she likes those better), had a ham steak, and bought a killer pumpkin cream pie for dessert. The turkey, our first attempt turned out...AWESOME!
What's the big deal with cooking a turkey, people? Follow the damn instructions, don't waste lots of valuable heat by opening the damn oven every 20 minutes, and don't spend a minute worrying about basting a damn thing. Get a good meat thermometer and have a thawed turkey ready to go and you're...well, ready to go.
Of course, we made a FEW improvements upon the standard turkey. Can you guess what we did? Why bother? I'm gonna tell you anyway.
Under the skin, above the breast meat, I placed a layer of Raye's Fall Harvest Mustard, a wonderfully tasty mustard we bought for just this occasion.
See, this mustard has loads of whole mustard seeds and chopped cranberries in it, along with other fall spices and it was seemingly made for Thanksgiving. Trapping all of those tasty seeds and cranberries under the skin made for a great topper for the bird.
Our flavor enhancements didn't stop there.
I also diluted a bit of Mumm's Champagne Mustard with water and used a flavor injector to fill up the breast meat, the legs, the thighs, and the underside of the bird. I did this same treatment with some chicken stock as well, since we had a bit of it left from our stuffing recipe. This bird looked like it had been to the doctor for some botox before it went into the oven.
A little coating of olive & soy bean oil and a few dashes of pepper, lemon & dill made for a crackling skin surrounding one JUICY and flavorful turkey.
By the way, both of those fantastic mustards are available at the world famous Mount Horeb Mustard Museum! Go there and spend a ton of dough this holiday season. I gave mustards away to most everyone last year and they're all very happy with the presents they received!