Sunday, 8 November 2015

Terrific Tasty Turkey (in two hours)

How do you make moist, tasty turkey in two hours?  Flatten it! 
Cook your turkey in two hours? No, really I'm serious. 

By removing the backbone and flattening your bird you can reduce the cooking time dramatically. more overcooked breasts and undercooked thighs. All the meat pretty much cooks at the same time. 
HA! So there mister turkey!

This technique is called spatchcocking(not my word) and can be done with any poultry.

This bird weighs about 15 pounds. 

Chop one onion, two large carrots and two ribs of celery into large pieces.

Now for the big job. We need to cut the back bone out of this bad boy.

Using a sharp knife, make an incision down one side of the back bone.

Then the other side.

Lets wrestle with the turkey!

Starting at the neck, cut through the ribs. You need a bit of elbow grease here. If you are having trouble cutting with your knife, try using kitchen shears. Take your time. cut all the way dow to the tail. It can be tricky getting the pelvis separated from the back bone. 

Remove the entire backbone from the carcass.

Give the breast bone a couple of wacks.
Using the heal of the knife as you would a hatchet. Press the two sides of the turkey to flatten it.

Cut the wing tips of and reserve them

Cut the back bone in half. Reserve the backbone, wings and neck.

Place the chopped veggies onto a baking sheet that is large enough to hold your bird.

I like to use fresh herbs from my garden. I have used parsley, rosemary and thyme. Use dried thyme and rosemary if you don't have fresh. If you haven't got fresh parsley, just leave it out. 

Generously salt and pepper the inside of the turkey 

Flip it over. Coat the skin with oil. Salt and pepper the skin.

Place the turkey in the fridge for an hour of two or up to overnight. 

While the turkey is sitting in the fridge, make some stock for gravy. Chop an onion, 1 rib of celery, and one carrot. Place the veggies into a large pot.

Add the stems of the parsley, rosemary and thyme.

Add a one half of the back and the wing tips to the pot.

Cover everything with cold water.

Add salt and pepper. bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low heat for several hours. This can be prepared the day before.

So now, how do you make the dressing? you ask. 

Prepare everything as you normally would. This is how I make mine.
Chopped onions and celery, butter, chicken stock, salt and pepper, finely chopped parsley, rosemary and thyme. and a bit of grated ginger.
I cook mine in the microwave until the veggies are tender

Stale white bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes. I have about 10 cups here. Combine the bread and the cooked veggies.

Place the bread mixture onto a large greased piece of tin foil. Nestle half of the backbone and the neck down into the bread cubes. This will impart great turkey flavour, just like if you were stuffing your bird. 

Wrap the dressing up and refrigerate till later.

Bring your turkey out of the fridge for an hour before it goes into the oven. Bake at 375 for 2-21/2 hours. Don't add any liquid to the pan for the first hour. After the first hour of baking you can add two cups of water to the pan. Using an instant read thermometer, check the temperature of the thigh meat after the first two hours of baking. The turkey is done when it is 165 degrees. It may need to bake a bit longer, like 30 minutes. This time can vary due to several factors. Such factors include your individual oven temperature(not all ovens cook to accurate temperature), the size of your bird(the bigger the bird the longer the cooking time, and even the age of your turkey can affect the time. Be flexible and allow extra time.

Look at that! Beautiful, crispy golden skin. Moist breast meat and tender thigh meat.

Cover and let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes. Put the dressing package in the oven to cook while the turkey is resting. The dressing should cook for about one hour. 
Remove the turkey to a cutting board to carve it. Scrape the baking sheet. There will be lovely golden drippings to make gravy with.

Terrific Tasty Turkey

1- turkey, thawed, giblets and neck removed from the cavity
Salt and pepper
canola oil 
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary(2 teaspoons dried)
2-4 sprigs fresh thyme(1 teaspoon dried)
1 cup fresh parsley(leave out if you don't have fresh)
2 cups water

Remove the back bone from the turkey as illustrated. Remove the tips from the wings. Place the veggies and herbs onto a baking sheet.  Salt and pepper the inside of the turkey. Place the flattened turkey onto the veggies. Oil, salt and pepper the skin. Place the turkey, uncovered, into the fridge. Let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight. Remove the turkey from the fridge one hour before baking. Bake, uncovered for 2-21/2 hours at 375 degrees. Add two cups water to baking pan after the first hour.

Stock for Gravy
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 of the back bone and the wing tips
water to cover(about 4-6 cups)
salt and pepper

Combine all into large pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2-4 hours. Strain the broth and reserve for gravy. Can be prepared the day before. Thicken using flour or cornstarch as you would for gravy.

1/2  onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
salt to taste
pepper to taste
10-14 cups white bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 turkey backbone and turkey neck

In a large glass bowl combine the first 10 ingredients. Cook in microwave stirring every two minutes until the veggies are cooked. add the veggie mixture to the bread cubes and mix well. Place the bread mixture onto a large sheet of greased tin foil. Nestle the backbone and neck into the cubes. Fold the edges to seal the package. Put into the fridge until ready to bake. Bake for one hour.

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