Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Doing a turkey

48 posts in this topic

Turkey is my favourite thing to roast. Some people say its a bit bland, and maybe my love of turkey is a bit rose-tinted with memories of christmas days past, but I love it. I love stuffing, I love the turkey meat, I love the bacon, and in my adult years, I love making stock from the carcass. Thing is with turkey stock, you always make it with the leftover carcass, when really you could do with the stock when you are actually eating the bird, for a nice spot of gravy.

 

This post is a bit late for thanksgiving 2006, but its in time for xmas at least. This is the way I like to do a turkey. Its perhaps a bit daunting for some people, because it involves boning some of the bird, but its really not too difficult atall. I remove the breast crown and legs, so I can use the backbone for stock, then the legs are boned, stuffed, and rolled. You end up with 2 beautiful joints - one breast crown and a long rolled turkey leg roast, which is really easy to carve, and looks great.

 

I am only boning a small 3.6kg turkey here, but a bigger turkey is even easier.

 

First things first, you wanna remove the legs. This is dead easy. Just grab the turkey by its knee,and it becomes obvious where to cut - you just cut the skin in between the leg and breast, and let the natural weight of the turkey expose the hip joint, which you then cut around.

 

post-46-1164877317.jpg

 

You might have to pop the joint to release it , then cut around the back of the leg to remove it from the carcass.

 

post-46-1164877334_thumb.jpg

 

Repeat with the other leg, and put the legs aside.

Make a few immature jokes with the neck of course.

 

post-46-1164877352_thumb.jpg

 

Now you wanna get the back bone off. Just slide a knife behind the turkey to open the bird, crack its backbone to give yourself some room, then with a sharp knife, cut along the ribs of the turkey to separate the breast joint.

 

post-46-1164877395_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164877420_thumb.jpg

 

Pull the backbone away as far you can. We want to keep the wings on the breast, so you need to cut around them with a small blade.

With a bit of brute force and nifty knifework, you should get the whole back, with the neck, in one piece. Chuck this in a dish with a few chopped onions and carrots.

 

post-46-1164877435_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164877454_thumb.jpg

8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now we have a nice breast joint. We wanna wrap the wings up underneath the bird and tie them. Fold the wingtips back, and slide the wings under the bird.

 

post-46-1164877617_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164877631_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164877645_thumb.jpg

 

I've tied a loop of string between the two "elbows" on the wings to hold them in place better.

At this point you can rub some soft butter under the breastskin, stuff the neck cavity, lattice with bacon etc. The turkey I got had the neckskin cut, so was not any good for stuffing really. It does not matter, the legs get stuffed anyway. I've just rubbed some butter on the bird, and whacked some bacon on top of it.

 

post-46-1164877687.jpg

 

Boning the legs is probably the trickiest part, but really, its not actually that hard to do, just take your time. Take a leg, and with your fingers and a small blade, start to work the meat away from the thigh bone.

It does not matter if the meat is all scruffy looking, so scrape the meat from the bone.

 

post-46-1164877733_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164877750_thumb.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The knee joint is the tricky bit. Make a cut along the bone in the drumstick and start to separate the meat from around the knuckle, then roll the meat down with your hand to expose it a bit more, and carefully cut around it with your knife.

 

post-46-1164877819_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164877832_thumb.jpg

 

Scrape the drumstick meat down from the bone, until you can simply pull the meat away from the end of the bone.

 

post-46-1164877845_thumb.jpg

 

Have a look at the legmeat. It probably looks a bit of a state, and you will notice lots of little white sinews. These are really tough and chewy, so you should cut them out. They are really tough, so you can grab one end, and scratch the meat away from them with a knife. Its fiddly, but worth doing.

 

post-46-1164877886_thumb.jpg

 

chuck the leg bones and any scraps in the same dish as the backbones, and throw in a hot oven until its got a good caramel colour forming, this will flavour the stock.

 

post-46-1164877915_thumb.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you have both legs boned, get a sheet of tinfoil, preferably extra stark stuff, and lay down a load of bacon rashers on it. Get your 2 legs, and put them in a sort of yin/yang way together, so you can flatten them out to a more rectangular shape.Try to make sure that there are no gaps. Yep, it looks messy, but its going to be rolled, and will not be seen.

 

post-46-1164877970_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164877983_thumb.jpg

 

Next you need some stuffing. This is really up to you as to how to flavour it. I've simply got some breadcrumbs, added some chopped onion softened in butter, some chopped sage leaves, and a grated apple.I've also slit a few frische bratwurst and put the sausage meat into the mix, and for some extra flavour, the turkey liver has been chopped and added. A bit of seasoning and a couple of beaten eggs and its done. I like to make this in advance so the flavours can mix a little, but its not that important. Put a big cigar of stuffing down the centre of the meat. The rest of the stuffing can be used for the breast joint, or rolled into balls and cooked separately.

 

post-46-1164878012_thumb.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now we are ready to roll our joint :)

Lift up the foil and bring it towards you, then roll it over the joint.

 

post-46-1164878263_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164878276_thumb.jpg

 

Lift the foil back to make sure the bacon is wrapped on the meat, turn the meat away from you (believe me, its easier) then roll the joint up tight in the foil. Scrunch the ends of the foil up a bit, then lay it on a sheet of clingfilm.

 

post-46-1164878288_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164878301_thumb.jpg

 

Wrap the clinfilm round the joint tightly, and twist up the ends to press the meat into a sausage shape. This should now be chilled for at least a few hours.

 

post-46-1164878707_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164878335_thumb.jpg

 

All this meat prep, and even the stock can be done the day before you want to eat, which is handy.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cooking of course depends on how big your bird was. My bird was 3.6kg, about7.5 lbs. This breast joint once separated, weighed 1.9k, 4lb,which will only need about an hour of cooking, so I won't need to put foil on it. On a larger bird, though, you may want to carry out alot of the cooking under foil, and remove it for the last 30 minutes or so. Between 15-20 minutes per 500g will be fine.

For the leg joint, Alot of the cooking will be carried out wrapped in foil. For a larger bird, I would probably have tied the leg roll with string before putting it in foil, but the foil will hold the shape anyway. This wieghed 1.2 kilos , 2.5 lb on my bird.I removed the foil about 15 minutes before the end of cookking to colour the bacon.

I think that getting a 1.2kg joint from the legs of a 3.6kg turkey is pretty great. Instead of just giving somebody the whole roasted leg on a bird, you get a nice long roast to slice up, no bones, with the delicious christmassy flavour of bacon and stuffing. People that normally only like white meat will also love this.

 

All the scraps and bones, once roasted, smell great, and can be used to make a nice pot of stock.

 

post-46-1164878420_thumb.jpg

post-46-1164878433_thumb.jpg

 

Simply put all the roast bones and veg into a big pan, add some more fresh veg(celery, onion, carrots) a few cloves,and a big bunch of some fresh parsley. Cover with cold water, then bring up to a simmer, and leave for 3 hours or so, skimming crap from the surface from time to time. Strain, reduce by half, and leave to cool. It will form a thick jelly, and be awesome for gravy.

 

post-46-1164878447_thumb.jpg

 

On the back of the turkey itself, there are a couple of nice littel "nuggets" of meat. I like to take these off the carcass after roasting, and keep them aside. Then I shred them and add them to the finished reduced stock. Adds a certain rustic feel to the gravy.

When its cooked, the turkey breast is still pretty enough if you need a centrepiece turkey on your table, and the leg carves beautifully.

 

post-46-1164878498.jpg

post-46-1164878514_thumb.jpg

 

It IS more work than just simply roasting a turkey, but its really worth a go. If there are only a few people eating with you, then you could just serve the breast, and freeze the leg joint for another day. You will have the bone from the breast joint itself, so you could make another stock for gravy with that, and freeze it with the leg joint so you have the basis of a great meal already prepped.

 

post-46-1164878542_thumb.jpg

 

Give it a go.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers don, that looks fabulous - great photos! Front Page now!

Big up for those Global knives, I'm sticking to my Zwilling set but gave my dad the Global and he loves them, that you use them too confirms I made the right choice.

 

Will Crawlie/Crawlie's missus be making a wine suggestion? Please?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks absolutely delicious and worth the extra effort. And if you rotate the finished breast by 180° you have a perfect Valentine's Day roast!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ohh! Thank you! My favorite part of cooking thanksgiving is the next-days stock/soup. Will try this next year. :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deffo Front Page material. Hell of a job -- I may give that a whirl. Cheers for all the effort you put into that one.

 

woof.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

excellent post mr rina sir! do you add fresh sage to your stuffing too?

 

shame we dont have audio posts. i'm sure you'd make ramsey blush.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic post there, don_riina. Thanks for that. Yep, despite being not particuarly Germany-specific the post has still gone frontpage.

 

For reference, here are some other related topics:

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fresh sage from the garden Mr Gideon. If you want an extra sagey flavour, you can put whole leaves onto the bacon before putting the turkey leg meat onto it, then roll as normal.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I not only enjoyed reading that but might actually try it out one of these days. I'll probably make a mess of it but if I do I won't have the excuse of the recipe and explanation not being clear.

 

Thank you! :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks really good.

Thanks very much, really thinking about trying this instead of Raclette this year...

 

just out of curiosity and totally OT: do you play guitar? :D

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0