Put the ‘Effin Turkey in the Oven

If I ever have enough people over to justify buying a gigantic bird, here’s what I will do:


Bitch is crazy. Turkey can be delicious. Not that monster she’s got, about all you can do with that is give it a decent burial; but the real thing. Needs to be cooked right is all. When I used to eat such things I was very fond of braising turkey drumsticks with acorn squash and diced apple. A real bird benefits from stuffing. Real stuffing stuffed inside the fucking turkey. It’s there to keep the meat moist. It needs fat, texture, some kind of contrasting taste, and surprises. When spooned from the bird, hot and fragrant, it can be one of the highlights of the meal. I also used to spread herbed butter under the skin of the breast. When the bird is cooked it will benefit greatly by being allowed to rest in a warm place so the meat can relax and reabsorb some of the juices. 20 mins or so while one skims and deglazes the gravy (I used to whisk in diced chilled butter right before serving which gives a sumptuous quality to the gravy. But it mustn’t then be reheated or the velvety texture will be lost).

A turkey also benefits from being carved with some care. See Escoffier on the subject.

I was at the niece’s yesterday where one of the nephews whom I adore no matter how irritating he is, gave a demonstration of how not to carve. When he splattered himself with gravy I left the room. There was a lot of food – roast tenderloin, turkey, salmon, many vegetable dishes – which was all dumped on a big counter-top where people were invited to serve themselves. Naturally, everyone stood about gabbing, unsure of what to do, till I got bossy and told them all to shut the fuck up and eat. Consequently, everything was stone cold by the time it got to the table where people ate in shifts instead of everyone coming together over the food which is one of the pleasures of dining.

Had the food been broken down into 3 or 4 courses (I would have aimed for 5) it would all have been so much more enjoyable. Over time one can still eat as much without it seeming gross. With hot plates, everyone at table ready to be served, the house calm and the cook in control, with wines chosen to complement the food instead of the diner’s whim, and the children locked in the cellar.

Did anyone ask me? No.

@Benedick: Brine. This is what turkey needs. And Philpino go-go boys to eat it off of. But that second one can be said of any food, really, except maybe oatmeal.

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