That I’ve cooked, not eaten. I’ve eaten a lot!
But this year my mom was too busy to organize Thanksgiving, so Paul and I offered to host it this year. This meant cooking a turkey, which I’ve never done. Chickens, yes. Ducks, yes. But never a turkey.
My usual duck lady, Mary Ellen from Greens Eggs and Ham, had Golden Breasted turkeys this year. These are a heritage variety, a cross of a domestic and wild birds. She told me that they are have a drier meat, but a flavour that is much better than a normal turkey.
With this in mind, I looked for recipes that guarantee a moist turkey. Epicurious has a nice once that they recommended for beginners. It calls for a four hour roast, basted every 45 minutes, on a rack with two cups of turkey stock in the pan. The bird is massaged with butter and seasoned. Instead of stuffing, I put a bag of chopped carrots, onion, celery and herbs for flavour and to add more moisture. And I put a carapace of foil over the breast so that it cooked slower. To go with it, I made an apple-sausage stuffing, which I cooked separately in a casserole. C’mon, it’s my first time! I didn’t want to poison my family.
The results? Incredible. Not only was the meat both fully cooked AND moist, the flavour was better than most turkeys I’ve had. And the gravy from the drippings pushed the experience over the top. My mom was impressed! And Henry kept running back to the carcass and barking at it. He’s never wanted leftovers more.