Talking Turkey

DSC00237Here we have our plump 30lb (13.5kg) turkey ready to be dressed for the oven.

This little beauty is destined to feed a party of 26 on Saturday evening

The first step on this occasion will be to remove the wings and the legs.


DSC00242Here is our bird with the wings removed and the neck cavity cleaned and tidied up.

The wings themselves can be roasted separately and picked for a stew or curry but in this case they go into the roasting tray to begin the trivet. (A layer of bones and vegetables that will lift the bird from the pan itself)

DSC00244Here, with the legs removed the chest cavity can be seen along with the large backbone.

The backbone is now also removed since it is of no actually value to us and will merely extend our cooking time unnecessarily.

This will go straight into the stockpot with the giblets, onion, celery, water, carrot, garlic, bay leaf and a choice of herbs.

DSC00248Our crown is now merely the two breasts upon the breast bone. By this simple operation the cooking time can be reduced by up to a half against that of the entire bird.

Once set upon it’s trivet it can be oiled and seasoned ready for the oven. The trivet of bones and vegetables will roast along with the crown ready to be added to the stockpot later.

DSC00251So where then do we put our stuffing?

Easy, we stuff the legs. To the right here is the leg ready to be slit down the bone line and the bone itself removed. These too can be added to the stockpot.

It is vital that the sinews (seen here below) are removed since cooking will cause them to shrink terribly.

DSC00253This will cause our leg to contort and pull into a tough lump that will be rather unpleasant to eat.

DSC00255The space left by the bone can now be filled with our stuffing mix, in this case a mix of onions, breadcrumbs, herbs and spices, although a good sausage meat would be a good alternative.

The leg can now be rolled and tied into a joint. since there is now no bone the cooking time for the legs will also be greatly reduced.

DSC00259Should you not wish to attempt the tying then the whole could rolled into shape with the use of grease-proof paper and tin foil.

The stock pot can now be topped off with water and simmered gently for as long as possible.

Tomorrow, once the crown and the legs have been cooked and chilled down to await carving on Saturday morning, the trivet and cooking juices can be added along with more flavourings of choice such as white wine, or proprietory stock pastes which will form the basis of our gravy on the day.

Watch this space!

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