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RECIPE

A CookTale

In November 2008, Mark Bittman in his New York Times column changed the way that we will forever more do Turkey. No more four hours of 325 degree oven time. No more pan juice basting every 20 minutes. And no more questionable results. Ever since that article was published, our Thanksgiving day Turkey has been simply fabulous. May I suggest that you do not wait until 2012 to enjoy this experience, Christmas is only weeks away.

INGREDIENTS For the Turkey

1 10- to 12-pound Turkey
12 Garlic Cloves, (peeled & lightly crushed)
2 Branches of fresh Rosemary & a bunch of Thyme)
1/3 cup of EVOO +2 TB of Butter
1/3 cup of dried Thyme
Kosher Salt & Pepper (liberally applied)

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the Turkey on a stable cutting board breast side down & cut out the backbone. Turn the Turkey over, & press to flatten it. Place it breast side up in a roasting pan.

2.Tuck Garlic & Thyme underneath the Turkey & in the nooks of the wings & legs. Drizzle with EVOO, dot with Butter & sprinkle liberally with Salt, Pepper & dried Thyme.

3. Roast for 20 minutes, undisturbed. Turkey should be browning. Baste only once with the pan juices, Reduce the heat to 400 degrees (only if the Turkey browns too quickly, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, otherwise leave it be).

4. At 35 minutes, check the Turkey’s internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. We consider it ready to remove when the Thigh meat registers 145 degrees & the Breast meat reaches 135 degrees. But that’s us, if you prefer your Turkey not as medium-rare, give it a few more minutes. Keep in mind that as it rests it continues to cook, & the longer it cooks, the drier the white meat gets.

5. Carve & spoon on the roasted Garlic Cloves and pan juices.

INGREDIENTS For the Stuffing

2 cups of two day old Bread (cut to 3/4″ cubes)
1 ½ cups of Sweet Onion (cut to 1/2″ dice)
1/2 a Fennel bulb (cut to 1/2″ dice)
2 Celery stalks (cut to 1/2″ dice)
3 Garlic Cloves (sliced)
1 to 2 TB of Butter (more if needed)
1 TB EVOO
1 pound of ground Pork (hot or sweet Italian)
¾ cup of dried Cranberries
2 cups of Mushrooms, (I used Portobello cut to 1/2″ dice)
2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 cup of Demi Glace (diluted in water)
½ cup of Pine Nuts (toasted)
½ cup of chopped fresh Parsley
1/2 cup of chopped fresh Sage
1 large fresh Bay Leaf
1 ½ tsp of Salt + 1 tsp of fresh Black Pepper
1 cup of dry Vermouth

METHOD

1. Add 2 TB or two of Butter to a medium sauce pan. Over medium heat, fry the Bread cubes for about 3 minutes until crisp. Remove to a large bowl.

2. In the same frying pan, add 1 TB of EVOO & the Garlic, Onions, Fennel, Celery, ground Pork & Mushrooms. Sauté, breaking the Pork into small pieces. Continue cooking over medium heat until ingredients start to brown & tenderize. Toss in the Pine Nuts, the dried Cranberries, Sage, Parsley & Salt & Pepper. Add the beaten Eggs & gently mix together. Add to the bowl of crisp bread cubes.

3. Deglaze the empty pan with the Vermouth & reduce by half, then add the diluted Demi Glace, stirring & loosening the dried bits at the bottom of the pan. Add to the large bowl. Taste to adjust seasoning.

4. As dinnertime approaches, spoon the stuffing into a Buttered deep casserole, dot with the Butter & bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

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