Sunday, October 7, 2007

The best thing to ever happen to a turkey...

...was a serious de-boning! This year, for Thanksgiving, I tried something new. Because we had a smaller group this year (8 instead of the usual 16-20) and didn't need a 25lb bird, I bought a boneless turkey. It was essentially a butterflied turkey, but with legs detached and also deboned. The 6lbs of meat easily fed 8, and we still have leftovers. I am never going back to the the old way! No carcass, no mess, no digging stuffing out (and getting all hot and steamy!) and it all cooked evenly and perfectly. I made my usual dressing recipe, and simply laid the bird parts over it. Brushed on lots of melted butter, sage, summer savoury, salt and pepper. Cooked it for a couple of hours or so at 325F, rested for 15 minutes and sliced it all up. Everything was still hot when it hit the table. The dressing was better than ever (although not even close to being healthy, what with all the turkey juices it was swimming in!).

Because I wouldn't get gravy this way, I also tried a great make ahead method (courtesy of Terry Pogue on the FoodWine list). Basically you roast or brown some turkey parts (necks, wings, thighs) and vegetables (onion, carrots, celery), de-glaze the roasting pan, and then dump it all in a pot with water. Simmer for three hours until you get a rich stock. Let the stock cool, skim the fat off the top and use that to make your roux, then add as much stock as required to make a rich gravy. Add seasonings and a splash of cream, maybe some wine. Perfect and easy, lots of stock leftover for soup.

The rest of the menu included: red cabbage, sweet potatoes & apples, mashed potatoes, a beautiful green salad with berries, seeds & nuts (brought by my friend Barb) and cranberry sauce with orange zest. Dessert was a totally decadent chocolate cake (made by my sister Caroline) and a pumpkin pie, fresh whipped cream on the side. Lots of wine, coffee and liquers, then more wine and liquers to accompany a rowdy round of Trivial Pursuit.

I love Thanksgiving- I think it's my favourite holiday. I love fall, the colours and all the great produce at this time of year. I love setting a nice table, decorating the house and having friends and family around.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

1 comment:

Amber said...

That looks yummy! I will look for a deboned turky this Thanksgiving---what a novel idea!