Home Cooking

Bourbon Red heritage turkey(day 1)

moto | Dec 21, 200504:57 AM

greetings. Received the turkey two weeks late due to a health inspector who didn't accept mailed permit renewals from several vendors at my local farmer's market, including Prather Ranch. The pkg has Frank Reese Jr.'s picture on it, as it's been raised by him. He has an interesting story as a pioneer in humane turkey farming, 46 years of experience, told on reeseturkeys.com. Borrowed a couple of ideas from the Haitian turkey recipe, the one noted by other 'hounds prior to t-day. Prather ranch gave a nice pamphlet with the bird on preparation rec's, essentially a hot fast roast is best, oil or butter-saturated parchment paper covering suggested. Reese Jr. suggests med.-low with lots of butter to baste. I had already decided to go with a higher temperature, locking the moisture in with a spice paste(coming on day 2). I squeeze fresh limes over the thawed bird, and rub it with my own made-up spices which include Portuguese sea salt, Ethiopian style prepared ground Berbere mix, chipotle powder, freshly ground black pepper and allspice, sundry odds and ends.I don't want it to get too spicy, so i can taste what's distinctive about the heritage bird.The evacuated cavity gets rubbed with the salt, allspice and black pepper and I throw in a semi-peeled lime and some fresh whole sage from my front yard. I make a dozen or so 3/4 in. slits into the bird and inject an "aioli" comprised of e.v.o.o., garlic, fresh chopped sage, a little salt, a little 25 yr.old Spanish vinagre,thrown into a blender, again,not injecting too much. I then marinate with amontillado and stick it in a pan with about an inch of the wine, cover and refrigerate it; not equipped with a brining bag, I'll use a baster to marinate every few hours, and I'll flip it over at bedtime. Meanwhile I get a stock started for the gravy, browning a pkg. of foster farm turkey tails with the one from the bird and getting the fat released, then adding the neck, all of it sprinkled with the spice mix. I throw the contents into another pan and roast 'em for about an hour,scraping and turning them once in a while , meantime searing the giblets in the skillet. The tails come out delicious, turkey chicharrones for the crusts; the heritage tail has much less fat, and it's sweeter and more delicate in flavor. With most of their fat left behind in the roasting pan,the tails and neck go with the seared giblets into the stock making, with a bit of carrot, onion,dried bay, a couple of small dried chilis. (to be cont.)

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