Vinha De Alhos (How to Prepare Turkey Portuguese Style)
In Maui, when Amaryllis met her Portuguese boyfriend, she was introduced to the world of Portuguese cuisine. Her father loved to cook Vinha De Alhos! (pronounced vinga doyzh). Vinha is the vinegar brine used to soak meat or fish before grilling. Four days before Thanksgiving, Richard takes a cleaned, thawed bird and places it in the roasting pan. He pours a half gallon of apple cider vinegar into it and adds spices like garlic powder, onion flakes, allspice, and a few cups of water. He places it inside a large plastic bag. It is put back in the refrigerator to marinate in the vinegar bath. He turns it several times over the next three days to distribute the brine.
Somehow, by osmosis, the turkey absorbs the juices and flavor. Drain all the vinegar and return it to the pan. Under the skin of the bird, put pieces of butter. The skin is rubbed with vegetable oil, sprinkled with salt, covered with aluminum foil, and baked at 350 degrees for the first half hour, then lowered to 325 degrees, per instructions (20 minutes per pound). The aluminum foil is removed for the last hour to brown the skin. It pierces the skin and the juices just flow! They fill the pan with wonderful juice like never before. The turkey is removed to the side to cool and all the meat is removed by shredding or removing it from the bones. Dark and light meats are combined on one large plate.
The juices are reheated to pour over the turkey!
Ingredients for Vinha De Alhos
1/2 gallon apple cider vinegar
used for turkey, chicken, pork or fish
1 part water
3 parts vinegar
onion powder, salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
Rinse the meat and pat dry with paper towels, then add the brine,
soak overnight up to 3 days for turkey; turn each day, and baste in the refrigerator. Drain the liquid, place in the roasting pan, salt inside and outside the bird. Fill the butter under the skin of the breasts and rub with oil, then put them in the oven preheated to 350 degrees for the first half hour. Lower heat to 325 degrees and cook according to directions, 20 minutes per pound. Remove foil for last hour so bird can brown.
Richard prepares his dressing outside the bird. (He would get too wet inside this type of preparation).
The family is eager to try the Vinha De Alhos (vingadoyzh).
People seem to love their own parents’ style at parties, because that’s what made their memories so rich. Amaryllis likes to please everyone, so she now cooks two turkeys.
She prepares one turkey the night before, Vingadoyzh-style, and another one on Thanksgiving, stuffed with her favorite style of bread stuffed with sage, apples, pecans, raisins, celery, onions and sausage.
She makes a whole cranberry sauce using the fresh juice of an orange that is bright and delicious. Her family loves canned and jellied, but this new version was very well received.
Boil 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, the juice of 1 orange and 1 bag of cranberries until they burst.
Next, see how to make fillings (from the book Amaryllis of Hawaii Loves to Cook “Recipes for Life”.