Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shame I don't eat turkey

Spouse came home from his house-call yesterday with a big black trashbag which he set on the kitchen floor and said, "This is for you." Inside the bag was a 17 pound turkey. Raw. Thawed. Apparently the person he's gone to see had two and they hadn't been kept frozen. One was cooked for Thanksgiving but the other needed to be cooked soon.

Guess what I did today? If you said, "Roasted a Turkey," you would be correct!

A couple years ago I found a 1924 Boston Cooking-School cook book at a flea market in excellent shape and only $12. It's a great reference book if you can get over some of the rather vague instructions. Here is how to roast a turkey (emphasis mine):
Dress, clean, stuff and truss a ten-pound turkey. Place on its side on a rack in a dripping pan, rub entire surface with salt, spread breast, legs and wings with one-third cup butter, rubbed until creamy and mixed with one-fourth cup flour. Dredge bottom of pan with flour. Place in a hot oven, and when flour on turkey begins to brown, reduce heat, and baste every fifteen minutes until turkey is cooked, which will require about three hours.
Reduce the heat from hot to what, not quite so hot? My oven doesn't really have those settings. Plus I found it really hard to get the butter to adhere to the skin. My modification was to use a greater butter to flour ratio and add some fresh sage and rosemary to it (the stems going in the bottom of the pan) and put it under the skin. The skin itself was rubbed with coarse salt and pepper. From a modern cookbook (late 1960s Joy of Cooking) I got the 20 minutes per pound advice. The previous owner of the cookbook had done the calculations for their turkey, including what time time to place it in the oven if they wanted to eat at 3:00 (10:20 if you're interested.)

In the oven
In the oven

The bird was due to be done at 5:00, but when I got home at 4:00 it was literally falling off the bone. I let it rest and then disassembled it (sorry no pictures) and threw the bones and skin into a stockpot.

A right, proper stock pot

Dinner for tonight will be turkey for spouse, Quorn for me, roast onion. potato and carrot, stuffing and gravy. And a nice pumpkin cheesecake for afters.

Neck and giblets
Neck and giblets for meat gravy

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