November 24, 2011

Black Turkey (Sort of)


So it's not exactly black, and I'm not entirely sure why, but it worked just the same. This is basically a Thompson Turkey (link at the bottom) minus the complicated meat stuffing extravaganza.

The gist is this: this is fun. The whole family can get involved with this turkey. Every person can baste the paste on the bird for the gazillion times it needs to be done. Constant vigilance!

Bottom line: if you want something very different, if you want the moistest turkey you've ever made yourself, and if you want everyone to have a bit of fun making the main dish, then give this a shot. Disappointed you will not be. Let me know how yours turns out, and if it actually came out black! Enjoy.

These are the ingredients as listed and the adjustments I made.

For the paste:

12 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of Colman's mustard
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons onion juice
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 teaspoon Cayenne, or to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour, or enough to make a paste
3 cups cider
1 cup water

You'll also need:


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. or as high as it will go -- for at least 1 hour.

Chop fine the reserved turkey fat. In a small saucepan set over moderate heat combine the reserved fat with 1/2 cup of the water, bring to a boil and simmer until all the water has evaporated and only clear fat and small pieces of solid remain. Reserve fat for stuffing.

Season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Rub the skin all over with the oil and season with salt and pepper.

Make the gravy: In a saucepan set over moderate heat combine ingredients for the gravy, bring to a boil and simmer while preparing the dressing.

Make the dressing: prepare and combine ingredients in bowl no. 1; prepare and combine ingredients from bowl no. 2; and prepare and combine ingredients from bowl no. 3. In a large bowl combine ingredients from all three bowls. Mix it well. "Mix it with your hands. Mix it until your forearms and wrists ache. Then mix it some more. Now toss it enough so that it isn't any longer a doughy mass."

Loosely stuff the turkey. Stuff the neck cavity and sew closed the openings. Tie legs together.

Make the paste: combine all ingredients for paste in a bowl, adding enough flour to form a thick paste.

Arrange turkey breast side down on a rack wrapped in foil sitting in a shallow roasting pan. Brush foil with oil.

Put the turkey in the oven and roast it for 15 minutes, or until browned. Turn it breast side up and roast for 15 minutes more. With a pastry or paint brush coat the turkey completely with the paste -- in every nook and cranny. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

To simmering gravy add cider and water. Remove from heat but keep warm on top of stove. (This is your basting liquid.) Roast the bird, basting it frequently, (the original recipe says every 15 minutes) for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, or until an instant meat thermometer reads 180 to 185 in the thigh; 170 in the breast and 160 in the stuffing.

Let rest 15 to 20 minutes, before peeling away crust.

Adapted from this Thompson Turkey recipe.

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