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Turkey Many, Many, Ways

12.15.07
Turkeys are on sale for Christmas. So my inner cheap-ass bought a 21 lb turkey for $18, thoughts of cheap tastiness spinning through my head. Having a party? Nope. Just the two of us plus a baby. So it’s going to appear in many ways, as to not bore us. Today I started with the classic roasted turkey. I also got the dark stock making out of the way.

I’m new to working with whole turkeys. And I’d read that brining turkey is a good idea. I don’t recall eating brined turkey, and was more than willing to give it a go. Hence the stock pot in the snow-bank photo. Brining a very large turkey, at a safely cold-but-not-frozen temp. Worked a treat.

Only the thighs, wings, and drumsticks met their fate tonight. Hah – ‘only‘. I ate half a thigh and my wife half a wing. Turkeys are HUGE. I put the drippy wet brined turkey on a rack, patted them dry with paper towel, smothered with room temp butter, sprinkled some herbes de provence, and salt and pepper. In went the tray at 400+ until the skin crisped up, then 350 or less until the internal temp was satisfactory [probe therm]. We were thrilled with the end result – looked and smelled fantastic. I’m quite sure I have never executed a poultry dish at such a high level. Was it the brining?

The dish was completed with my best poultry gravy ever, some cottage cheese mash potato [yes, I'm stuck on this - it's so darn good], and a purée of sweet pea. Wow. That’s all I have to say.


The wine: a 2004 Yvon Métras Fleurie. I’m a fan of the vintage, and was hoping for a light-med bodied red with lots of cherry-driven fruit. This Beaujolais Cru delivered cherry-strawberry and brie de meaux. Big time. A far classier Beaujolais than I’m used to, it had a clean finish, was focused, rounded out as it opened up, and overall was a 91+ point wine for me. The photo below shows how transparent this old-school-old-world beauty was. Yum.

Stay tuned for more turkey.

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