Thursday, December 3, 2009

2009 Thanksgiving Wrapup

I always think it's a good idea to writeup an event right after it happens ... Or when you can get to it. Therefore, better late than never, here's a quick summary of what we did for our Thanksgiving dinner this year.

We spend this holiday at home, just t
he two of us, so I have the opportunity to try something new or different win no worries of disappointing the masses.

I made a smaller menu than I have in the past, which was a wise decision. It made the evening a lot more relaxed for me, the cook.
  • Local turkey, turchetta-style
  • Goat-cheese stuffed baked potatoes
  • Focaccia stuffing with mushroom and onion
  • Escarole with toasted pine nuts and crispy bacon
  • Sauteed local chanterelles
  • Cranberry sauce (didn't make it into the picture, alas)
  • Mini pumpkin and pecan tartlets
A tweet from Anthony Strong (chef of Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco) with a photo of his turchetta inspired me to follow his lead. Mine is much less beautiful, but was pretty delicious.

I boned out the turkey, reserving the skin in one large piece and leaving the wings on (this is called a ballotine, click over here for a demo done by Jacques Pepin). Then I laid the breast pieces down onto the inside and rolled them in garlic, marjoram, sage and salt and pepper. Then I wrapped the skin around the breasts (I reserved the legs for another project) and tied it in place. As evidenced by the lumpy, bumpy dish you see here my tying skills are pretty poor. Roasting was pretty speedy: into a 375 oven for about 45 minutes. When the temp got to 130 (if there was dark meat in the ballotine, I would have taken it to 155), I pulled it and let it rest for 15 minutes to finish cooking.

Were I to do this again, I'd remove the wings--we thought it looked pretty weird and it made handling the roast more difficult. I will definitely do this again. Carving was a breeze and there were no bones to deal with at table. Try this with a chicken some weekend - worst case, you end up making chicken stew instead.


Megan said...

The turchetta looks like such an interesting way to cook a turkey. I finally roasted my first whole turkey breast this year. I'm going to keep this in mind for the future...

Sunday Cook said...

Nice to meet you last night Megan.

Do try the turchetta - but practice before you're on deck for a holiday. It took a bit of time but it was nice to try something new.

two coast table said...

The turchetta looks so interesting! I love trying new ways to cook. This looks delicious too. (Steven)

Sunday Cook said...

Try it out - the next time I do it, I'm going to try to tape it, so y'all can learn from my challenges. :-)

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