Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mombian Recipe Exchange

There's been a holiday recipe exchange started by one of our favorite blogs Mombian.

Here's our contribution (can't remember where I stole this from, some cookbook or tv cooking show, but it's yummy...)- Turkey. We made this relatively simple recipe the first year we hosted Thanksgiving at our house 3 years ago and have adapted the recipe the past two years, depending on our mood/ability to purchase the right items in time... This recipe, which is not vegetarian, requires:

- 1 turkey
- 2 oranges
- fresh rosemary (some still on the stem)
- 2 bulbs of garlic
- olive oil
- pancetta (italian bacon, uncooked) or any thick fatty bacon will do (can be omitted if you dont eat pork)
- stuffing of your choice, preferably bread-product based and smooshy
- handful fresh thyme
- handful fresh sage

Preheat oven appropriately for your size turkey.

Clean your fresh or thawed turkey, remove things that need to be removed, etc. Set the turkey in the roasting pan.

Using a spatula (if squeamish) or your hand (works much better), slowly separate the skin of the turkey breast from the actual meat from the bottom up, leaving it attached at the top of the breast (essentially creating a big pouch).

Pour some olive oil into the pouch, and spread it over the meat underneath.

"Stuff" your stuffing into the pouch (between the skin and meat) until it is full and the skin is taut again (it will stretch like a balloon). Rub olive oil on the skin.

Take a sharp knife and make a some 1/2 to 1 inch cuts in the thighs and leg meat of the turkey. (about 3-4 per thigh, depending on size of the turkey, 1 or 2 in the legs). For each cut, take a clove of garlic and a sprig or two of rosemary and wrap them in half a piece of pancetta (if you dont eat pork, skip the pancetta and brush or dip them in olive oil). Stuff the wraps into the cuts you've made. (Ideally getting some into the meat itself, but if your turkey is small, the wrap may end up just under the skin instead.

Pierce each orange 5 times with a fork. Put the oranges, the thyme, the sage, and any remaining rosemary in the cavity of the turkey. Cover the ends of the legs with foil. Cook to the time/temp appropriate for your size turkey. When done, discard the oranges and herbs from inside, and carve as usual.

What I like about this recipe:
- the turkey comes out looking fantastic (with a nice golden crispy skin over the breast)
- if carved well (something I can't do), each piece of breast meat has a bit of stuffing with it.
- The stuffing protects the breast from drying out before it is completely cooked, keeping it nice and moist.
- The stuffing can take on some of the turkey flavor like it would if it were inside the body, but there's far less risk of undercooking the stuffing because it is closer to the heat.
- And the garlic and rosemary combo really works well with the dark meat.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Really? It's not vegetarian? Damn.