Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Best Way to Cook a Turkey

By "best", I mean "retaining the most flavour", rather than the quickest or easiest.

If you're still with me, take a deep breath and prepare to leave tradition behind.

Turkeys these days are huge.  Ridiculously so.  Bigger than nature ever intended.  Which makes it really hard to roast them in a way that is kind to both the white and dark meat.  You either end up with perfectly roasted legs (I can't quite call them drumsticks when they weigh a couple of pounds each!) and styrofoam for breast meat.  Or the white meat comes out perfectly and the rest of it is a little underdone, leading to suspicious looks from your hypochondriac relatives.

Carving the bird

The answer, my friends is to cut the silly thing up before you cook it!  If you're feeling adventurous, debone the legs and stuff them with something yummy, like goat cheese and mushrooms. 

Dark meat with stuffing

The bones, gizzards and squidgy bits go in the stock pot, with onions, carrots, leaks, etc.

Ready to make stock! 

And when you cook up the white meat, you can take it out before it's dried out and nasty.

Of course, there's no triumphal march to the dining room with a perfectly-formed bird, ready for carving.

There's also no danger of tripping and dropping the entire works on Aunt Ida's head. 

Plus, have I mentioned the flavour?


Wishing all who celebrate a very happy Christmas and all the best in the New Year.

I'll be back on January 5 with another instalment of Blogging Larousse.



Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you too! And thanks for the turkey tips!

dr.d. said...

okay, so merry christmas and all but i have a turkey deboning question -- those legs are full of strange plastic like things i can never quite understand, so when you debone the leg -- a lovely idea, goat cheese and mushroom, i am so there -- how do you get those things out?

happy happy, to both of you --- and to your new closet!


Barb McMahon said...

Thank you for the happy Christmas greetings!

Chef says that he only used the thighs, which are much easier to debone than the whole leg. No nasty plasticky bits in the thigh and still plenty of meat.

Hope that helps!

dawn said...

Thanks for the turkey tips.