It was goooood.
The bird was lifted out of the brine at around 9am to chill in the fridge uncovered until it was stuffed & loaded into the oven around 11:30am for 6pm eat time. I always underestimate how awesome my oven is. It's gas - btw, top AND bottom, so yes, it's a little frightening to hear the "click click" of the ignition, but once it gets to a certain temperature, it STAYS there. Only one mishap to report too - so with an oven thermometer, I've had very good luck. I mention this because even at 375F, my turkey cooked exceptionally fast - and browned nicely about halfway, so it was tinfoil tented for the rest of the time. I had some leftover stuffing, so it got put into a loaf pan as a side.
(Skin splittin' good!)
My side dishes didn't get started until about 4:30pm - potatoes (whole, unpeeled) were put in a large pot and boiled until tender and them mixed with cream cheese, butter, and cream. My onion bake was assembled and heated up in the last 45 minutes and I decided to skip the zucchini & carrot dish altogether as it would have been too much. Another guest brought a delicious brussel sprout dish and J (of T&J) prepared some roasted butternut squash.
What was served:
Cider brined turkey with stuffing (2 ways)
Dried cherry & cranberry sauce
'Big Martha' mashed potatoes
Roasted onion, crouton & gruyere bake
Brussel Sprouts with bacon & walnuts
Roasted butternut squash
Oh, and gravy too. Not homemade though. More on that tomorrow!