Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Talkin' Turkey

Bri 'n' Kell are doing up one huge Tom, but still we need a bird to nosh on during the long weekend ahead. We love fresh turkey and try to eat it year round, though it's becoming tough to find during non-holiday months. I can handle a 15-pounder, perfect for cutting away drumsticks, back and giblets for soup, leaving the breast and wings intact for roasting next to the thighs. Parts can be frozen raw, as can cooked meat from a fresh bird, an advantage over using a frozen one.

When I entertain a mob and need a heavier bird, I have the butcher do the prep. Then, I roast the legs, too... my brother's first choice. This method radically cuts down cooking time and... more importantly... allows the dark meat to cook thoroughly without drying out the white meat. In this case, soup is made from the frame and leftovers.

An alternative to cooking a giant is to buy two smaller turkeys... an awesome way to have plenty of satisfied guests who yearn for particular body parts (sorry... couldn't resist). I am fortunate to have beautiful double ovens; so this is the choice I prefer. Of course, none of the above works if you just must have Big Browned Bird for presentation. 

To Note: Stuffing (dressing) is always cooked separately, here at the old homestead. Also, if you do buy fresh, slit it open asap to assure that freshness. We had a nasty episode with two Shady Brooks, this past weekend. It was not the fault of the brand, but rather the inadequate refrigeration at the vendor's. Locals may contact me for further info. We found the same brand elsewhere, well chilled and sweet-smelling.