How to deconstruct your Thanksgiving turkey a step-by-step guide and recipes
How professional chefs dissect and cook their turkeys
Apply one cup of chestnut puree to the center of the leg and liberally sprinkle with chopped herbals. Roll up and tie with butcher's twine. Rub seasoning and olive oil all over turkey.
Cut the garlic bulbs in half and lay in a shallow roasting tray with the bunch of thyme. Place the turkey legs and breast skin side up, on top of the garlic and thyme.
To roast the turkey:
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
Roast the turkey until the meat thermometer reaches 165° F and the juices run clear.
As we are taking the bird apart this should take roughly 2 hours, not 6!
The roasting time may vary up to 30 minutes, depending on the bird and the oven. Use the meat thermometer to check the temperature of the dressing. The center of the breast or leg must reach a temperature of 165° F for food safety.
1/2 small onion, sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 oz. whore roasted chestnuts (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
Cook onion in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add chestnuts and stock and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Puree mixture in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and transfer to a small saucepan. Heat puree over moderate heat, stirring, until hot and season with salt and pepper.
Poultry giblets (gizzard, heart, neck)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups turkey stock
To make the gravy, remove the turkey from the oven and pace it on a serving platter or carving boards; cover loosely with aluminum foil and let it stand 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, make the turkey gravy. Place the roasting tray on a low flame; add the flour and cook for 5 minutes. Gradually add your turkey stock one ladle at a time until you reached desired consistency. Season and strain through a sieve. Yields about 3-1/2 cup
AND FINALLY…It's the day before Thanksgiving, and the butcher is just locking up when a man begins pounding on the front door.
"Please let me in," says the man desperately. "I forgot to buy a turkey, and my wife will kill me if I don't come home with one."
"Okay," says the butcher. "Let me see what I have left." He goes into the freezer and discovers that there's only one scrawny turkey left. He brings it out to show the man.
"That's one is too skinny. What else you got?" says the man.
The butcher takes the bird back into the freezer and waits a few minutes and brings the same turkey back out to the man.
"Oh, no," says the man, "That one doesn't look any better. You better give me both of them!"
Originally published in 2010.
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