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Our Thanksgiving Meal

November 14, 2012
By Capt. DICK MAY - Catch 'em & Cook 'em , Pine Island Eagle

Roast turkey, dressing

and gravy


1 (12 to 14 Lb.) turkey

Brine: 1 C. salt, 1 C. brown sugar, 2 lemons, 2 oranges, quartered and 1 sprig of rosemary.

1 stick butter softened

salt and pepper

How To:

1. Wash the turkey thoroughly in cool water, remove the giblets and neck and save them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

2. In a large non-reactive pot, place the brine ingredients and 3 C. of cold water.

3. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

4. Add the turkey to the pot and add enough cold water to cover.

5. Leave in the brine until ready to cook.

6. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels.

7. If you are stuffing the turkey with dressing, stuff the body and neck cavities and spread softened butter over entire turkey and season with salt and pepper.

8. Place in a roasting pan, breast side up, and cover with a tent made of aluminum foil and put into a preheated oven at 350 degrees.

9. Cook for 15-minutes for each pound of turkey or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees when inserted into the breast and 185 degrees in the thigh.

10. When it is done, remove the foil and turn oven up to 375 degrees and let the skin on the breast brown.

11. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

12. Remove dressing before carving.

Our favorite



2 1/2 C. chicken broth

Generous dash of ground black pepper

4 stalks celery coarsely chopped

1 large onion coarsely chopped

1 (16 oz bag) Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned or cornbread stuffing mix

1 stick butter melted and divided

How To:

1. Saute onion and celery in 1/2 of the melted butter until they are limp.

2. Heat broth and the other half of the melted butter and bring to a boil.

3. Pour the stuffing mix into a large bowl and pour sauted vegetables over the dry stuffing mix.

4. Pour the hot broth mix over stuffing and toss with a fork until it is moist throughout.

5. Stuff the neck cavity and body cavity lightly do not pack in as the stuffing will expand while cooking.

6. If you choose not to stuff your turkey, grease an ovenproof casserole with butter and add dressing and bake at 325 degrees covered for 30 minutes or until hot throughout.

Giblet gravy


1/2 lb. turkey giblets and neck (remember, they are in a bag in the refrigerator)

Celery leaves

1 onion sliced

1 C. flour

Dash of pepper

2 hard cooked eggs chopped

How to:

1. Remove the liver and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, place the giblets and neck in lightly salted water to cover, adding a few celery leaves and onion slices, if desired.

3. Cover and simmer for one hour or until tender.

4. Remove from heat and chop the giblets.

5. Discard the neck (it was only for flavor).

6. Reserve the broth.

7. Add the drippings from the roasting pan to the reserved giblet broth to measure 6 cups.

8. Add water to bring it up to 6 cups if necessary.

9. In a screw top jar, combine 1 C. broth, 1 C. flour and a dash of pepper.

10. Put the lid on good and tight and shake well.

11. In a saucepan with remaining broth, add the flour mixture.

12. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes more.

13. Stir in the chopped giblets.

14. Just before serving, stir in the hard cooked eggs.

Makes about 8 cups of gravy

Capt. Dick May is the owner of Easy Rider Charters in Bokeelia. He can be reached at 239-283-3247 or "Capt. Dick's Seafood & Southern Country Cooking" (new cookbook) can be ordered for $14.95 plus $3 postage by calling the number above or by mailing a check (made out to Dick May) to 7989 Judge Bean Road, Bokeelia, FL 33922.



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