Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Help?

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 23:  The Garfield balloon ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife For some reason, this year, I'm talking to more people who are cooking at home, some making their own turkeys for the first time. Looks like a few places around town still have fresh birds (inlcuding Joe's Butcher Shop in Carmel). If your bird is frozen, figure you need to defrost 24 hours in the fridge for every 5 pounds. So, for a 15-lb bird, start defrosting today, especially if you're going to brine it on Wednesday night. (Stuck with a frozen bird? Here are some tips.)

*Need a good brine recipe and instructions? I like the Chez Panisse brine. (Plus, you can tell Alice Waters about it when she's here next week.)

*Need last minute help? Hey, while the kids are watching the Macy's Parade, you can tune into to WFYI for The Spendid Table's two-hour turkey emergency call in show, Turkey Confidential. 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. or tune in and ask questions via the web.

*And last but not least, still wondering what wine to serve? Hey, with this varied meal featuring fowl, savory, and sweet, I say drink what you like. Personally? I like fruitier pinots, earthy Burgs, real-deal Beaujolais (Villages is perfect for Thanksgiving), good value Rhones/Chateaneuf de Papes, and even lighter Syrahs. Sparklers are always a great idea, too.(I've been seeing good deals on the Mumm Napa Rose.)


we just like vegetables said...

I cold-water thawed a 6-lb Gunthorp Farms duck from the Goose yesterday. It took about 4 hours, so the reference times on the source you link to look pretty good.

Then I roasted the duck on a bed of potatoes, parsnips, and turnips, and finished it on the stove by braising it in sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut and duck fat is a match made in heaven. But you could have guessed that.

braingirl said...

Oh, man. That sounds good! I love Duck and have, I'm ashamed to say, never roasted one. I may have to change that this winter. (I almost picked up legs at The Goose for confit on Saturday. Next week for me.)

I take it you'll brine your bird?

dhonig said...

Does Peking Duck count as "roasting"? If so, I've done it. Once. But would not do it again. Not because it wasn't good, but because the 20 minutes to eat it weren't worth the two days to make it.

I also tea smoked a duck once. Again, just once.

we just like vegetables said...

No brining for me. Turkey's my dad's department. We've got a big family and one oven, which has usually meant one huge unbrinable bird (not that I'm sure he'd bother anyway). We usually doctor it up with Mama Stamberg's cranberry sauce and/or salsa.

This year a bunch of the family aren't coming due to a wedding, so he's getting a smaller bird and trying out some dismembered and pressed preparation I think he picked up from Cook's Illustrated.

For my part, I'll be continuing the family tradition of making Matar Paneer for Thanksgiving, which was my (frankly better) substitute for turkey during my vegetarian days.