Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Interesting Turkey Cooking Ideas


EggyGirl
 Share

Recommended Posts

Are you sticking to traditional recipes this year for your turkey or on the hunt for some new recipe to try? Seems a lot of people are trying new things such as frying, smoking, and high heat recipes.

Edited by EggyGirl (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best method I've used is based on George Perrier's recipe: poaching the turkey in court bouillon, and then roasting at high temperature.

Perrier roasts at medium high temps, with the bird tented in foil much of the time. I get better results by poaching longer, then doing away with the tent. I roast at 500 degrees with a doubled piece of foil over the breast meat for about half the time (and some foil to protect the ends of the drumsticks from scorching).

The result is crisp, mahogany-brown skin, and juicy, perfectly cooked meat (both light and dark).

Only special gear is a big stock pot.

Removing the bird from the hot liquid is a bit of a trick; Perrier advocates picking it up by the truss, which seems borderline suicidal to me. I put a smaller stock pot in the sink, and pour off the court bouillon, and then slide the bird into the roasting pan. Big mits and another pair of hands can be helpful.

The poaching liquid forms the base for the next year's first batch of poultry stock.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I jumped on the deep fried turkey bandwagon a few years ago and am now hooked. A large bird can be cooked in less than an hour and the results are great; dark, crispy skin, and juicy meat.

Older members of the family (mother, mother-in-law, etc) insist on a conventional oven method during any holiday. Side by side, the fried turkey goes twice as fast as the oven bird, and there's no leftovers (we're eating the oven turkey leftovers for a week...)

OK, maybe not as healthy as a roasted turkey, but hey, its only 3 times a year or so!

There is an initial investment of the propane burner kit, pot, etc. Plus you should cook this outdoors, but in my opinion, all well worth it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ever since a friend showed me turkey marinated and cooked in milk I've never done it any other way.

Marinate the turkey in 2 litres of milk (covered) overnight in the fridge. I think the original recipe called for a chopped onion and a chopped apple in the milk, but last year I just used milk and could not tell the difference.

Roast the turkey breast-down in the milk, with another pan of water at the bottom of the oven to create some steam.

Honestly, I think the best part of this is the milky-turkey juice: strain, de-fat, use some in your gravy, and freeze the rest for creamy turkey soup. I nearly cried the year my brother in law (who had also been given the recipe by our friend) tipped all the milky goodness DOWN THE SINK.

I could cry now, just thinking of it.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you sticking to traditional recipes this year for your turkey or on the hunt for some new recipe to try? Seems a lot of people  are trying new things such as frying, smoking, and high heat recipes.

My wife gets a free big 22+ lb turkey from work every year. We immediately begin to defrost it and then I carefully debone the raw breasts. These I smash down into pie dough type rectangles. I make a mixture of portabellas and crimini mushrooms, rosemary, shallots, etc. and layer the flattened breasts. I roll them up and tie with string into roulades.

The rest of the turkey gets roasted as usual, and the wife will probably eat one of the turkey legs, but she picks off all of the edible meat from the entire carcass. That is basically vacuum sealed in foodsaver bags, dated, and frozen.

The remaining carcass and skin and throwaway "stuff" goes back in the oven with a mirepoix added slightly later, until all is nicely browned and carmelized. Then into the stock pot with a bouquet garni and I make brown turkey stock, which then gets canned by my wife, dated and into the cellar it goes till needed.

Most efficient use of a big turkey we've found and the roulades when browned on all sides, then stock and cover is added, and into the oven it goes until almost done, and then remove the cover.

The roulades are then removed and the pan drippings get made into a roux sauce by just adding bread flour and turkey stock from the year before. Seasoned and then ladled over the roulades which are sliced into rounds and served.

Makes a great lunch at work....if I still have work after today, Black Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007! :)

doc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of my friends have confessed to not actually liking turkey. The reason is that they perceive it as dry and usually flavorless.

The flavorlesness probably comes from buying the cheapest factory birds possible, but the dry part is from not understanding how to cook poultry. There are a lot of methods that work, but if your method doesn't consider the lower cooking temperature of the light meat vs. the dark meat, the bird is doomed to mediocrity. The same goes for chicken, but being smaller, a chicken is a bit more forgiving. Cooking times are long enough with turkey that you have the opportunity to REALLY dry out the breasts.

The 19th century french methods often relied on barding the white meat with fat or bacon for part off the roasting process to protect it from the heat. I find foil to be a simple substitute. I generally fold a piece in thirds, like a business letter, but with the two outer sections only overlapping for an inch or two (added protection for the part of the bird closest to the top of the oven). This stays on for about a third of the total roasting time. It allows you to roast longer and with higher heat, allowing a dark, crisp skin without raising the breast meat above 155 or 160 or so.

I've never deep fried a bird ... not sure if an equivalent method would work for that.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chef Michael from Providence in LA sent out an e-mail with his favorite method. He rinses the turkey well, then pats dry the interior cavity as well as the skin. He stuffs the cavity with aromatics and uses a blow-drier on a cool setting to really dry the skin until it is not tacky any more - he stresses the dryness of the skin. He then covers the skin with two sticks of butter, rubbed into the skin very well, and the bird is cooked in the oven at 350 until done...

I do something similar where I stuff the cavity full of moist aromatics which I envision create a tasty steam once heated. I dry the skin well, but no blow-drier here...i stuff some sage between the skin and the breast meat and I rub butter throughout the skin. I roast at 350 with a foil shield until the turkey is close to done, then I hit it with a 450 blast and remove the foil, it colors beautifully.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We brine our turkey, then take the back out so that it can lay flat. It gets air dried in the refrigerator for a day, and then roasted at 450F. I think it only takes about an hour and a half that way in the oven. I've had much more success using this method than when I roast the turkey whole, even using different temps during cooking time and using foil to protect the breast. Plus, I can use the back a whole day early for making gravy and stock.

Edited by plk (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We brine our turkey, then take the back out so that it can lay flat. It gets air dried in the refrigerator for a day, and then roasted at 450F. I think it only takes about an hour and a half that way in the oven.  I've had much more success using this method than when I roast the turkey whole, even using different temps during cooking time and using foil to protect the breast.  Plus, I can use the back a whole day early for making gravy and stock.

So you will be using the high heat recipe as well? I am going to be trying the recipe I seen from Safeway called the "2-hour Turkey". It also requires roasting it in oven at 475. This is the recipe we will be using:

http://turkey.safeway.com/recipe.cfm?rid=1

I love the "how-to" videos, really helps you follow that recipe well.

Where did you get your high heat recipe from? Does it look similar to Safeway's?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a similar idea with the high heat, but the instructions I have (from Cook's Illustrated 2001) have you hack out the turkey's back and then pound it flat so that you have a better chance of it all cooking evenly and quickly. And it's gotten me the best results so far, but then I haven't tried a lot of other roasting methods. I'm just so happy with the results in contrast to what I've done before and what the in-laws do with their turkey that I have no desire to try something else. Link to the Cook's Illustrated recipe: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/printrecip...ds=567&bdc=6804

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made the milk recipe today - very good. It was for a potluck with another full turkey (done in bag), and everyone commented on mine and not there's (not that it was a competition). Very moist. I wasn't able to discern any taste difference, but the white meat was very juicy and tender, and yes, the gravy was outstanding!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This year it's low and slow. 15 pound bird is in the oven already at 79 degrees. Will roast until Thanksgiving to an internal temp of 185. (GD&R)

Well --- it sounded good in theory....

hvr :laugh:

"Cogito Ergo Dim Sum; Therefore I think these are Pork Buns"

hvrobinson@sbcglobal.net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father and I do two turkeys for thanksgiving. He fries one in Peanut oil. I roast one in the oven. I stuff 'er with 1 lime (cut in half), 1 bulb of garlic (top chopped off), 1 stick of mexican chorizo, a few sprigs of rosemary, and a few sprigs of sage. I line the bird with seared-oxtails (and alittle water) and place foil over them. I leave the the breasts exposed and baste OFTEN! 350F until done...

eGullet Ethics Signatory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This year it's low and slow.  15 pound bird is in the oven already at 79 degrees.  Will roast until Thanksgiving to an internal temp of 185.  (GD&R)

Well --- it sounded good in theory....

hvr :laugh:

I had to read that twice, before I got it. The first time was "whoa...what? :blink: "

:laugh::raz:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

plk-

That's great that the high heat recipe is working for you. Not everyone has a good experience using the high heat, not really sure why. I hope I am as successful as you using the Safeway recipe. In the Safeway recipe, no butterflying is required. So that makes it just one step easier for me...:-p

Will anyone else be trying a high heat recipe this year for the 1st time as well?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thinking of going completely unorthodox this year. The other day I made chicken breasts using sous vide for the first time and the results were outstanding. So I'm going to try two sous vide methods of cooking my turkey this year.

First, I am going to cut the turkey up and separate the breasts, wings, thighs, and legs. I am going to use the rest of the carcass to make turkey stock that I will reduce. Then I will take the skin render it to (hopefully) get some turkey fat. Then I will confit the dark meat with the turkey fat sous vide(180F for 8 hours). Up to this point can be done the day before. On the day of thanksgiving I plan to cook the breasts with the reduced turkey stock sous vide(141F for about 1.5 hours, depending on thickness).

Has anyone tried to render turkey fat from the skin and had any luck? Does it taste good? It sounds good in theory, I hope it works. Otherwise I have duck fat I can use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marry me, HV. I fractured my arm and that's the only laugh I've had in three days.

Until I saw your slow-roast post I was considering cooking our 28 lb turkey sous vide. I have a plastic bag originally used for a queen down comforter, so that should be big enough. I am planning to do it in the bathtub, keeping the water heater turned all the way up. Do you think that would work? Now I'm having doubts.

And yes, it isn't easy to keyboard, let alone manhandle a turkey.

For many years I have adopted my sister-in-law's method for turkey, which she claims is straight-ahead Nashville style. We call it "Shake-a-leg Molly." After stuffing every conceivable pocket or cavity and neatly sewing up the bird, place it on a rack in the pan and cover the top half with a double-layer of cheesecloth. Rub with an obscene amount of butter, then sprinkle on lots of salt, garlic powder and paprika. Tent w/foil, add a coupla cups water or broth to the bottom of the pan, and cook at 425 about 15 min per pound, basting after the first hour (although usually it doesn't take quite as long as the math would indicate.) The tent comes off and so does the cheesecloth (carefully) when there's about a half hour left of time, depending upon how brown the turkey is. Molly, now a vegetarian, does indeed come into the kitchen to shake the leg and invariably pronounces that it needs another half hour. This causes an argument between me and my husband, who have different priorities vis-a-vis light and dark meat. However, I always win, and in fact the breast meat is pretty moist and the dark meat is tender and thoroughly cooked. It also comes out dark golden and crispy skinned, very pretty.

Is this really a known method and is it in any way traditional Tennessee or southern style? Just curious. And I was stretching the truth about the turkey--it's usually around 17 lbs, fresh, from a small independent Northern California farm, but not a heritage turkey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you all are already using your own high heat recipes then. That's great that we are all taking advantage of shortcuts. 425 is pretty high and I'm sure that this reduces the cooking time, right? Ever think of bring it up 25-50 more...:-p

That bacon turkey seems interesting. I've had a turkey and bacon sandwich before, so I know it can't taste bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps you would like to read through the various tested methods of preparing turkey, along with the recommended internal temps, gathered by the University of Illinois extension

I have mentioned in other threads my experience with cooking extremely large turkeys, back in the days when I was doing occasional cooking for other people, i.e., as a temporary "personal chef."

Because the time required for oven roasting a huge bird would have been difficult to supervise, I used the braising method, which will produce a bird with moist breast meat, can be stuffed and trussed and will cook in much less time.

I used the largest Magnalite roaster (model 4269) with a rack with 1 inch legs, starting with 1 cup of broth and the roaster on top of the stove over two burners until the internal thigh temp reached 160, about 4 hours, then into the oven at 450 for about 45 minutes until nicely browned.

Removed from the oven, the stuffing is removed immediately and the turkey allowed to "coast" for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Practice on a smaller bird or a chicken prior to tackling a big bird, use a meat thermometer you can leave in the bird or one of the probes that can be set to sound an alarm when the temp is reached and use a Le Creuset or similar covered oven.

I used this method for this 4 3/4 pound capon last week.

gallery_17399_60_301596.jpg

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have for the past 5 years or so done my version of Turkey Two Ways in which the leg meat is braised in red wine and the breasts cooked separately to temperature a la minute. Several other eGers have tried this method with great results.

This year, I am continuing the evolution of the recipe. I'm going to butterfly and pound out one turkey breast and make a forcemeat out of part of the other breast together with some foie gras and black truffle, etc. That will be rolled into the turkey breast and cooked sous vide. The braised leg meat will be combined with wilted Savoy cabbage, perhaps bound with a little methocel, rolled up in reserved turkey skin, cooked sous vide to set it and browned for service. The dressing will be rolled up in a sheet of bacon made by overlapping extra-thin slices into a sheet. That will also be cooked sous vide to set it up and then browned for service. In the end, I'll have three cylinders of each ingredient (white meat, dark meat, dressing) which I can cut into coins for plating with a little reduction sauce and a tadpole of parsley puree.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...