Turkey in pieces

November 24, 2018

A truncated Herbie, his legs and wings bagged in the background.

NOTE: I thought I had posted this early this week. Apparently I failed to do so. Well, I hate to waste a perfectly good post, so here ’tis.

Whew, Lawdy, y’all. It is significantly more work to break down an 18-pound turkey than it is a 4-pound chicken, I am here to tell you and y’mama ‘n ’em.

But I have (a) persevered, and (b) said turkey leg and thigh quarters and wings are lolling in the sous vide bath, to be smoked tomorrow; the breast is dry-brined and basking under foil in the fridge; and the backbone, neck, wing tips and giblets are roasting in the oven for drippings and stock-making. I would also note that (c) all the parts are recognizeable and none of them look like they were extras in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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Best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Do this.

You have more than likely had all the turkey sandwiches you want by this time in the Thanksgiving weekend. (If not, go ‘head on. I am not the boss of you.)

Here, then are some ideas of what you can do with said turkey, and some of the other Thanksgiving leftovers, as well.

I’ll start out with non-turkey, since that’s the photo above. Anyone who’s read this blog very long knows of my love for the latke, and his first cousin, the potato pancake. My Mama used to make stewed potatoes, in a white sauce, regularly; I loved them, because I knew the next day or so would bring potato cakes. These are one of the highest and best uses of leftover mashed potatoes.

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The Turkey Day countdown

November 15, 2017

It’s mid-November, which means….

It’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving!

Anyone who knows me well knows that Thanksgiving is my very favoritest holiday of the year. I think because it’s such a paean to excess (and ain’t NOBODY loves excess the way I love excess) and good food (and not very many people love good food the way I love good food) and family (and I know lots of people love their families very much, but y’all, mine are just special, that’s all). Besides, it was my mama’s favorite holiday, and that apple did not fall far from the tree.

Well, it did, but over the years, it’s rolled back toward it. I think. I hope.

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Those damn stealth holidays

November 16, 2016

turkey3-2016Eeeekk! Thanksgiving is next week!

I’m not sure why it snuck up on me so badly this year. It may possibly be because we’re still having temps in the 70s and have had no more than a light frost so far this fall, or what passes for fall. Normally by this time I would have my menu all planned, and maybe even some early grocery shopping and prep work done.

There will be a few changes this year. We’re moving Thanksgiving dinner to Friday, as Child B and family will be able to come, for the first time in ages, so I’ll have everybody here. (Double eeeekkk. Got to houseclean this weekend!) Also hoping the girls’ godmother can come over. I think dinner will be late afternoon/early evening, which is good.

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Chicken, anyone?

November 7, 2016

A moist, juicy slab of roasted chicken breast. With potato salad and squash.

A moist, juicy slab of roasted chicken breast. With potato salad and squash.

I continue to be amazed at how easy it is to cook good chicken.

Particularly when one starts with admittedly pricy fresh-frozen chickens from one’s local organic chicken farm. A whole chicken of between 4 and 5 pounds runs me somewhere in the neighborhood of $20, but when I look at the fact I can get four meals, plus several pints of stock, out of a chicken, it’s not that bad a deal.

This week’s Mr. Chicken came sliced with sauteed squash and potato salad, because that was what I felt like. ¬†And it made me remember all over again just how…damn…good this chicken is.

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Excess. Pure, unadulterated, all-American excess, right here.

Excess. Pure, unadulterated, all-American excess, right here.

Except for the fact this was not a particularly good dressing year. Other’n that, it was all quite fine.

And I cooked the best turkey I have ever cooked In My Life. Tender, juicy, tasty — I was just blown away. And it’s a good thing, as I think I put away about 8 pounds of meat off that carcass last night.

We will have turkey for a while, yes, we will.

This turkey, y’all. You will recall I picked him up at the farm on Wednesday, and his little sticker detailed that he had been processed on Tuesday. Which would tell me he was strutting around his tractor cage early in the week this week.

I was a bit taken aback at how big he was — I really did not NEED a 16-pound turkey — and how much he cost. And at five bucks a pound, that’s the priciest turkey I ever bought.

It was worth it.

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With due thanks to Arlo Guthrie. I posted that line on Facebook last night and the responses make me think that only one of my friends picked up on the reference to the iconic late 60s-early 70s anthem. Ah, well. As Dorothy Parker would have noted, “Time doth flit.”

The bird, and a most excellent one he was.

The bird, and a most excellent one he was.

It was a most excellent Thanksgiving dinner, even if we had two or three less around the table than I’d planned for. The turkey was succulent and juicy; the dressing was appropriately sage-y; the cranberry salad, for those of us who ate it, was its usual sweet-tart self; the caramelized streusel topping (with walnuts, because I was out of pecans) provided a sweet, crunchy counterpoint to the creamy sweet potato casserole; the mashed potatoes and mac and cheese were, well, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese; I didn’t eat either one.

Potatoes, two ways

Potatoes, two ways

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