Thanksgiving Your Way & notes on How to Cook a Turkey
Started my day penning an epitaph to the junior cook on How to Cook a Turkey – Ten Steps to A Perfect Turkey. Simple, easy-to-follow, for someone who’s never cooked a turkey in their lives.
About step seven when it dawned on me that Food Gypsy readers are not new to the kitchen. From what you’re telling me, most of you have been cooking for years, many have some level of culinary training or time in the in the industry. Why am I telling you How to Cook a Turkey? You’ve done it a dozen times (once blindfolded or at the very least blind drunk), how about we look at something OTHER than turkey? Just for fun.
But just in case, for newcomers who’ve never swung a bird in their life (or those who call for advice on how to cook a turkey), here’s everything you need to know: it’s just a big chicken.
- People get so worked up about turkey, relax, it’s just poultry. If you can cook a chicken, turkey is a snap. Practice saying things like “wow, what did they FEED this chicken?!” and “holy moly, I’ve NEVER seen a chicken THIS big before!” to help ease the anxiety.
- If you need help here’s a solid resource; everything you need to know about cooking a thanksgiving turkey. (keywords: giant chicken)
I also find a little wine greatly improves my cooking, just a little Thanksgiving Turkey tip, me to you.
Who says Thanksgiving has to be about turkey? It’s your Thanksgiving, make your own rules (you rebel you). What says Fall Feast in your kitchen? You’re not bound by convention, you’re a freethinker.
Duck. Ever try one? Once you go duck it’s a slippery slope of gastronomic adventure. Again, it’s an intimidating protein; trick is rendering the meat so it’s not greasy. Here’s a link to the fine folks at Epicurious, for Crisp Roast Duck. In this recipe they remove excess fat with both boiling water and throughout the cooking process. Love it.
Rack of lamb. Pick one up at the meat counter and have them French it for you. Then go classic Roasted, Crusted Rack of Lamb from All Recipes; breadcrumbs, garlic, rosemary and Dijon, so simple.
Go Mediterranean; think seafood and saffron. Give Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Fish Stew a go, Mate. Bit of crispy bread a big warm pot of gorgeous fish and Bob’s yer’ Uncle.
How about a nice, prime rib? Nothing says “thanks” like the smell of beef. This was last night’s dinner, seasoned with salt & pepper then rubbed down with a teaspoon of dry mustard mixed with tablespoon of four (for a tight, crackely fat). Banged that baby in the oven at 425* for 20 minutes to oven sear it, then dropped it down to 375* for an hour for the prefect medium rare.
Poultry alterative: Cornish Game Hen (it’s just a small chicken), our protein of choice this year at Chez Gypsy. Chef B is schooling us on deboning techniques then we’ll stuff it with a traditional sausage stuffing, serve with some fresh, roasted patty pan squash and roasted parmesan cauliflower.
You’ll see that next Tuesday here of Food Gypsy followed by Part 3 of our sexy little wine & cheese frolic on Thursday as we indulge in FRANCE.
Speaking of France, you didn’t think I was going to end without a nod to the Veggie Side did you? Walking through the produce aisle with all the beautiful eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes; been craving a good Ratatouille. Let’s end on a joyful kitchen note with Julia Child shopping in Nice and turning all those gorgeous vegetables into… Ratatouille.
Live, Love… EAT well!