Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Critical Mom's Turkey

This one is perfect for Thanksgiving--and would be good for Christmas too,  but I'll present some alternatives with Duck or Goose.

First, get a good turkey--fresh or organic ("Bio" in Germany) tastes better than frozen, which tends to have drier meat.  Let's say you buy an 8.3 kilo (17 pounds, in the States) turkey.  Wash it in cool water, pat dry, and put in a big roasting pan.  Salt and pepper it--for best results, use sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Now stuff it--the Fannie Farmer Cookbook is full of good recipes for stuffing, and here's my version of one of them:

(1) In a large pot or wok melt a generous amount of unsalted, fresh butter.  Yes, butter.  Today you are not worried about cholesterol, and no substitute will do. 

(2) Wash and chop in small pieces a big bunch of celery (this will be about 10-12 stalks or 4-5 cups or a bit more).  Don't bother with the flowery part at the end--we always toss that part to the guinea pigs.   Dump celery in pan and keep on low heat, stirring occasionally.

(3) Dice a large onion and add to mix.  Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, you've let the oven heat up to about 180º C (about 350º F) and in it have placed a pack and a half of very ordinary supermarket white sandwich bread.  For Americans, Pepperidge Farm bread is a good choice.   Once the bread is dried out, put it in the food processor; process until you have crumbs.  You need five or six cups of crumbs.  Add to the mix of celery, butter, and onion.  Stir and let the flavors blend for a few minutes.  Add a cup (or more) of instant chicken broth.  Stir.  Now  stuff the turkey with this mixture and sew it up with ordinary twine, so that it stays inside the bird and does not dry out.  Leftover stuffing should be put in a baking dish and warmed right before you serve it.  
Once the turkey is stuffed, rub the whole bird with butter.  Put strips of thin bacon--you'll need at least a pack, maybe two--across every surface of the bird.  Put in oven at about 165º C (or around 330º F--or put it up to 350º F) and bake.  A bird this size takes around four hours and you should baste it occasionally, and kick up the heat at the end.

Let's say you want to do something like this, but with duck or goose:  I'd recommend substituting apples and raisins for the celery in the stuffing.  Or a few sausages.  And instead of bacon, you might want just butter or a little orange juice on top.


  1. Dear critical mom,

    thank you so so much for the package you sent us. All the things are very much appreciated!!!! Especially by the actual recipients!

    Thanks so much...


  2. You're welcome! More on way, when I find a box big enough!