Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rosie Shows You How To De-Bone A Turkey. Make A Stuffing. Stuff A Bird. And Truss Him Up.

Every now and then, when Rosie is feeling particularly industrious and has a turkey waiting in the wings, she just may de-bone said turkey. That's what I'm doing for our Christmas dinner. It's not like I had anything else to do, plus no one's going to do it for me. And it makes for easy carving at the table. BTW, this turkey has been brined. Only way to go. Just add about a cup of salt and sugar each to water to cover the turkey. Let brine overnight. This makes for a most moist, juicy, flavorful turkey that actually retains its moisture. Brine it. You'll be glad you did.
Now, let's take the central bone structure outta dis bad boy. Sorry. I was trying to be all hip and Food Networky and Guy Fierri-y and just lost my soul for a minute. Watch Rosie de-bone her bird:
First, position your bird breast side down with the wings away from you.
With a sharp knife, cut through the skin in a line along the backbone.
Working on one side of the turkey at a time, keeping your knife as close to the bone as possible, scrape and tease the meat free from the central bone structure.
Locate the wing joint and cut it and surrounding white tendons to free it from the central bone structure.
Repeat with other side.
Scrape the bone carefully.
Find the thigh joint and press down with thumb to dislodge it. The thigh joint, not your thumb.
Check out Beau in the background.
Cut it and the surrounding tendons to free it.
Here, I'm cutting around the thigh joint and I have piqued Beau's interest.
Repeat on other side. Check out Beau.
Detach the thigh joint.
Scrape down bone until you release the carcass.
Feel your meat. Heh. 12. No. Really. Feel the meat. Lots of times, it's easier to do the work with your fingers. Not a knife. It's less invasive. You don't want to over-handle your meat. Ticky? Donna? Feel free to interjeculate something here.
Holding the central bone structure, cut and the remaining breast section being careful not to cut the skin when separating the breast meat from the bone. Cut slightly into the cartilage to keep from breaking the skin.
Almost done.
Ta daaaaaa!!!!!
Spread eagle your bird and salt and pepper him.
Bring the cut edges together and reform the turkey. Start sewing from the neck end.
Bring the leftover scrap of skin up - the neck flap - over your stitches and start sewing that piece across.
Thusly. Continue stitching to the end.
Sew down to the end ...
... then turn your bird over and continue to stitch the edges together, leaving a hole just large enough so you can stuff the turkey. You had no idea Rosie was such a seamstress, did you?
Now for my stuffing: Every time I make a stuffing, it's different. I never plan a stuffing. A stuffing just happens. And the way it ends up depends on what I have on hand.
What I happened to have on hand today was leftover biscuits from breakfast. I guess you can tell why they were leftover. I cut the biscuits into wedges. Mr. Hawthorne paid me a compliment this morning. He asked me to make the biscuits, saying he'd do the sausage and gravy. "Your biscuits are good now. They're not like hockey pucks any more." Confident with this new-found knowledge, I forged ahead with the biscuits. I've been on a biscuit roll for some time now, but today I ended up with quite crappy biscuits. They were consumed and nobody complained but I'd made a bunch of 'em, anticipating ham biscuits for lunch. So now, I'm using the ersatz biscuits in a stuffing. First, I needed to doctor the "biscuits."
I poured a little olive oil and put some butter in my pan, along with oregano, sage, and thyme. I Semi-Ho'd it. I used bought dried herbs. I didn't go outside to pick fresh herbs 'cause it's COLD out there.
Melt the butter and toss in the bread pieces. BTW, this would make an excellent crouton if you just substitute French bread or Italian bread cubes for the biscuits.
Saute the biscuits wedges for a few minutes, tossing.
Into the oven at 250 degrees until toasty and crispy all the way through. You're in for a treat tonight. You'll get a peak into the workings of Rosie's mind. Since my stuffings aren't planned, and I'm working on the fly, I'm looking for another ingredient. The hamsters on the treadmill upstairs are tripping all over themselves.
And I think that ingredient would be a brown and wild rice mix. Into salted boiling water.
Properly cook some rice and stir in some butter.
And lookey here! I got some oranges and tangelos or tangerines or clementines or something. Wedged and added them in.
The punch of an onion will be nice.
Ah... The fresh green crunch of celery.
Water chestnuts! A white crunch.
Add in the doctored biscuits.
And stuff it up the bird's butt, spreading it evenly throughout the cavity, plumping out the boobal area.
Sew it up.
Truss it up.
I'm baking the bird, the neck, and the carcass. The carcass, I'll use for stock later.
Pour some olive oil over the bird ...
... rubbing the meat and spreading the oil.
Salt and pepper.
I started this bird in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Then I cut the temp down to 350 and baked until done. Get yourself a digital thermometer and use it religiously. We took the bird out at 170 degrees. Tent it with foil and let it sit for 15 or so minutes before touching it. This allows the juices to be sucked back into the lovely meat. Not bleed out if you immediately cut into the bird.
And it's lovely.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Let's see . . . overworking your meat can make it stiff & unyielding. Harder to manipulate. How's that?

Sage Trifle said...

You are a better woman than me.