Homemade Green Bean Casserole, the Grown-up, Food Lovers Version
I have a lot of Non-American readers, making it necessary for my to explain why I’m doing a post about a green bean casserole.
In America, we have this very strange tradition of making our Thanksgiving feast from cans of food. Nearly every dish that most Americans grew up eating on that November Holiday involved a can of soup, or a package of Jell-o. I see you all, nodding your American heads in agreement. A smile for Grandmas Jell-o salad that still graces your Holiday table because your own kids would FLIP if it wasn’t there in that big Pyrex bowl. I know, don’t think I was exempt from this in my upbringing. But we are grown-ups now. We live in a country that has over 13 million acres of farm land dedicated to fruits and veggetables. We even grow 100 million TONS of produce every year.
We should eat it.
A lot of it. Eat food, not chemicals.
Try it, my American friends, we are lucky enough to live in a country with more produce that we could ever eat. Let’s give it a shot.
Could you do it? Cook an entire Thanksgiving without ONE can? I’m gonna.
- 1, 12-16 lb turkey, thawed (try to find a fresh, never frozen turkey if possible)
- 10 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups Kosher or Sea Salt (don't use iodized table salt)
- 5 cloves of garlic, quartered
- 1/4 cup whole allspice berries
- 1 tbs whole cloves
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 large (1 pint, 6 oz) bottles of brown ale such as Rogue Hazelnut Ale (about 5 1/2 cups)
- 2 cup ice
- 3 celery ribs, cut in half
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups of chicken broth, plus 4-6 cups water if needed
- 2 large turkey oven bags, or bucket large enough to fit the turkey, but small enough so that the entire turkey is submerged.
- In a large pot, add the water, salt, garlic, allspice, cloves, and one of the onions. Bring to just barely boiling and remove from heat, stiring occasionally to dissolve the salt. Add the beer and ice, stir. (if your turkey is over 18 lbs, double the brine recipe)
- Allow to cool to room temp, refrigerating if necessary.The brine must be cooled before you add your turkey or you will start to cook.
- Rinse the thawed turkey and remove anything that has been place inside the cavity.
- Place turkey in either the large bucket, or the oven bags. If you are using the oven bags, place one inside the other and the turkey inside those. Pour the brine over the turkey. If using the oven bags, make sure to remove as much air as possible and seal as tightly as you can, placing in a roasting pan in case the brine starts to leak. Place in the refrigerator.
- Brine for 16-18 hours. If using the oven bags, rotate the turkey every 6-8 hours to insure an even brine.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse really well, inside and out with cold water.
- Place turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. Place in the fridge, uncovered, for 12-18 hours to dry the skin. This is the step that will give you a nice crispy skin to go along with your juicy bird.
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- Truss your turkey if desired.
- Brush your entire turkey with olive oil, sprinkle with salt.
- Stuff the other quartered onion, and the celery inside the cavity of the bird.
- Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. Add the broth to the bottom of the roasting pan. If the pan starts to dry out during the cooking, add the additional water to the bottom of the roasting pan. Do not allow the broth/water in the roasting pan to touch the turkey.
- Cook until your turkey reachs about 160 degrees (it will continue to cook once out of the oven to meet the 165 degree temperature). Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
If making this for Thanksgiving, start brining the turkey Tuesday night.
Do not use a Kosher, Enhanced or any turkey that list sodium on the package. These turkeys have already been exposed to salt and may be too salty with brining. Use a turkey that has not been processed in this way.
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Printable Recipe: Grown Up Green Bean Casserole
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