WPTV’s T.A. Walker took a trip to Okeechobee Steakhouse to ask co-owner Ralph Lewis his tricks and tips on cooking the most golden-brown juicy turkey and to get some of their recipes for side items like stuffing and mashed potatoes.
How Much Turkey Do You Need
Plan on one pound per person Plan on buying more if your guests prefer all white or dark meat Plan on buying more if your guests want leftovers to take home
Turkey Cooking Timeline
Tuesday before Thanksgiving: Start thawing your turkey for 24 hours (larger turkeys should be thawed even earlier) Wednesday before Thanksgiving: Put your turkey in a brine for 24 hours (brine recipe below) Use bottled water, salt, pepper, sugar, and butter Thanksgiving Day:1) Drain brine for two hours2) Cover with foil or lid to keep the turkey white and pale3) Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes per/pound4) When there is one to two hours left, uncover your turkey and turn up the heat to 375 degrees until golden brown.5) According to the Department of Agriculture, a turkey must reach 165 degrees to be safe.
Okeechobee Steakhouse brining recipe for tenderness and flavor
1 cup kosher salt cup Brown Sugar 6 Cloves of Garlic 10 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme 12 Whole Black Peppercorns 3 Bay Leaves Zest of 1 Lemon Zest of 1 Orange Gallon Water (Can use Chicken Stock for More Robust Flavor) You can also add Allspice Berries, a Cinnamon Stick, Rosemary Leaves, Sage Leaves, and Apple Slices to really kick up the flavor Mix all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add One Gallon of cold water (or Chicken Stock) and ensure the brine is at room temperature before pouring over the turkey. Place turkey breast side down in a large container. Pour brine over turkeys and top the turkey with a heavy plate to keep it submerged in the brine. Brine a 12 to 14-pound turkey for 8 to 12 hours, 16 pounds and over 12 to 16 hours in the refrigerator Rinse Turkey inside and out after pulling it from the brine and Pat Dry before Roasting.
Okeechobee Steakhouse turkey seasoning recipe
There are many ways to season your turkey. They suggest using a dry rub or herbs and butter under the skin of the turkey to keep the turkey moist and to add another dimension of flavor.
Cajun Seasoning/Rub Jerk Seasoning/Rub Traditional Poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, some paprika for color Herbed butter Add fresh herbs to the butter you put under the skin, such as sage, rosemary, or thyme
Okeechobee Steakhouse stuffing recipe
(serves 8-10 people)
9 cups dried crumbled cornbread or other crusty bread 1-1/2 cups finely diced celery 1-1/2 cups finely diced Spanish onion 3 tablespoons fresh sage chopped 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped 1 tablespoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter 2 cups chicken broth (store-bought is fine)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a saut pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the celery and onions and cook until translucent. In a large sauce pot, heat the chicken broth and remaining butter. Bring to a slow simmer. Add the celery and onion mixture, salt, pepper, sage and parsley to the pot with the broth. Turn off the heat and add the dried cornbread. Mix until everything is incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Okeechobee Steakhouse mashed potatoes recipe
5 Pounds of Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes (Russets are more fluffy and white, Yukon Golds are heartier and starchier and pack a lot of flavor) 1 Pound Butter 1 Cup of Milk 1 Teaspoon Salt
Peel Russet Potatoes, if using yukons, you can leave the skin on, but wash thoroughly. Cut into large cubes. Place cubed potatoes in a large stockpot and Add enough water to cover the potatoes by at least an inch. Add salt to water. Bring to a Boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes well. Using either an electric mixer or potato masher, mash the potatoes well, adding salt and pepper to taste, butter, and milk. Mix until Smooth.
Set up a leftover station with disposable muffin tins