Failproof Turkey and Thanksgiving Sides
Truth be told, I’m a stickler for observing holidays as they arise. Or at least, that was the “old” me. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that food bloggers are typically preparing for holidays two or even three holidays before they happen, or because we are all just that excited about the next holiday. But every year that goes by, I find myself skipping ahead, incrementally. Like this year with Thanksgiving. It might have been because, although Halloween is my birthday, we were away from home. Or that I’m just so dang excited about turkey, leftovers, get togethers with friends, and being able to wrap myself in a gushy sweater for days on end without the need to justify my actions, or inactions, as I binge watch football with Ben or romantic British movies that he can’t stand. Lucky him.
Our usual routine involves a Friendsgiving celebration with our closest pack and this year, we will be going potluck style. I offered to bring the turkey, especially since it’s a Diestel Young Turkey that has been pre-seasoned and dry brined! Less work for everyone involved.
My family has always been highly changeable in our turkey preparations, with a few key exceptions. We always brine our birds, but the cooking method usually changes so we can figure out what works best for us. Deep frying? Check. Smoking? Double check. Roasting? Of course. But with so many options, and it being a risky proposition to work so hard on a bird to get it right, only to find it dry and tough – it’s hard to know where to turn. The pressure can be stressful! Not anymore!
I love the process leading up to Turkey Day, brining myself, making the fixings and all of the pies. So many pies. But Diestel’s Fra’Mani Brined & Seasoned Young Turkey was utter perfection. The instructions were simple and easy to follow, and all I had to do was bake the bird.
Ben and I are both highly conscious of farming practices, especially since he grew up as a farm kid and studied it at school. The Diestel Family Turkey Ranch practices what they preach, with sustainably raised, slow grown turkeys that have not been fed byproducts or treated with any artificial enhancers. They even mill and mix the bird’s vegetarian diet of grains daily on the ranch. And their range of holiday turkey varieties is incredible – from heirloom breeds, organic and pasture-raised raw turkeys, to fully cooked, pre-seasoned and brined turkeys like my bird. The Diestel family also makes year-round turkey products like turkey chorizo, sausages and deli slices, so you can get your turkey fix beyond Thanksgiving.
So once our bird came out of the oven, I let it rest, as is required to allow those juices to settle back into the bird after cooking, and then I dug in. My first bite was the end all be all. And then, I just started picking the meat right off, forgetting that I needed to actually carve it instead of just eat it. But it was irresistible.
I support companies whose practices mirror my own convictions, and I’m proud to see a producer so committed to quality and their craft.
If you would like to try a Diestel turkey for the holidays, they are offering you guys $12 off your ordered turkey. Browse their selection and order them online using their super handy online store. Like mine, your turkey will come packed in ice to stay frozen, so all you have to do is finish the thawing process and bake. Type in COUNTRY12 when you order your turkey to get the discount. This coupon code is only good until November 14th, so make sure you hurry!
And with every turkey comes the sides! Here are some of our family favorites for you to enjoy if you need some added inspiration!