Turkey is certainly one of the finest gifts made by the New World to the Old.
-Brillat-Savarin in The Physiology of Taste
The Saturday morning of Thanksgiving weekend we pick up a turkey from the Four Whistle truck at Old Strathcona, then take it home and cut it up, usually into two suprêmes (breasts with the drumette still attached) and two leg-thighs. I know: bringing the whole roasted bird to the table, and carving that bird in front of the guests, is an indispensable part of Thanksgiving. I appreciate the pageantry of tableside carving, but there are some huge advantages to separating the bird.
With the bird broken up into smaller pieces I can sear them to jump-start the browning. … Continue reading.
I try to cook such that we are not inundated and overwhelmed by Thanksgiving leftovers. I like to have a few turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce on the days immediately after the feast, but beyond that I grow weary of leftovers. Following are some go-to preparations to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.
Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
Today I used the rest of my turkey giblets, as well as some other Thanksgiving leftovers.
I simmered the turkey neck, heart, and bones with onion, carrots, celery, thyme, white wine, and water to make stock. The neck gave a lot of body to the stock. A lot. When I chilled some extra stock it solidified to a thick pudding. To the rest of … Continue reading.
This was the first year that I had a hand in preparing the Thanksgiving turkey. Subsequently it was also the first time that I came in contact with the infamous giblets: the neck, heart, liver, and gizzard of the turkey, stored together in a bag in the cavity of the bird.
First things first: I needed to know what I was dealing with. I was familiar with the general shape and function of the first three items on that list. The gizzard, however, I embarrassingly thought was the flap of skin hanging between a turkey’s beak and neck. Turns out this is the wattle, “an organ of sexual dimorphism” (Wikipedia), whatever that means. The gizzard is actually a stomach with … Continue reading.