Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deconstructed Turkey

I know a lot of you figure that I put my recipes on my blog to either a) show off or b) provide a public service (and I don’t need votes to know where most of you stand on this).  But the real reason is so that when I go to someone’s house and cook, I can look up on the web how I cook things, especially details on times and temperatures.

I have done my last several turkeys using this method Based on Julia Child and Jacques Pipen’s Cooking at Home Series.  Basically, you cut the turkey up a bit before roasting.   There are many advantages to cooking a turkey this way:

1)     You can actually get something else in the oven with turkey
2)     The broth (and resulting stuffing, gravy, and soup) is awesome
3)    The thighs are easy to slice, and very impressive with the stuffing in them
4)    The bird cooks in 2 hours **

I have not tried to do a big turkey this way, generally just the 12-14 pounders.  Here is an abbreviated set of instructions, which will help me if it’s your house I’m cooking in.  Unfortunately, the cook book is out of print.   But if you have questions, just call… or leave a comment.  Maybe next year I will have pictures.

 ** At 400 degrees in a convection oven, it will cook in just over an hour ...  which I demonstrated last year at my brothers.

 Turkey prep (12 - 14lb) and stock:

Cut off both legs, with thigh attached. Get the chunk of meat from the back when cutting the thigh.  De-bone the thigh, but not the leg. Cut the back off the breast. Remove the wishbone.  Remove fat from breast flap, but leave the skin on. Leave the wings on. 

Use back, neck, and giblets to make stock.  Brown the meat, add 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 1 onion, (all roughly chopped), and a big handful of herbs.  Add 2-3 quarts of water plus salt and pepper.  Cook over low for 4 hours.  Strain, cool.  Keep the giblets if desired.


1 bag Partridge Farms cubed stuffing (or make your own bread for stuffing)
½ ounce dry mushrooms <I used black trumpets>, reconstituted in ~ 1 cup boiling water.
Stain mushrooms, reserve liquid, rinse if needed.  Chop mushrooms and add to stuffing.  Add most of liquid, careful to not get any grit at bottom.

Meanwhile, sauté in a couple of tablespoons of butter:
½ pound mushrooms (sliced)
1 shallot (diced small)
½ a large onion (diced)
2 stalked celery (diced small)

Add to stuffing, along with ~ ¼ cup of chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, sage, etc).
Add ~2 cups of broth, or until moist.


Stuff the thighs and tie with string. Tuck wings back on the breast.  Make a pile of stuffing, put the breast on top. Put some stuffing in front cavity of breast.  Put the thighs/legs next to the breast in the pan.

Roast at 325 F for ~2 hours.

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