General Discussion


the best part of the turkey


General Discussion 47

the best part of the turkey

dude | Apr 12, 2004 02:58 PM

Turkey: we all eat it (well most, excluding vegetarians). We eat sandwiches for lunch, cutlets for dinner, a whole leg or wing as a meal at a deli.
For most major holiday meals, it's there. Many of us only like white meat.Others only dark. Unless someone with skill is in the kitchen, gravy is a must. A great part of the anticipation of the meal is watching (traditionally) the "man of the house" carve the turkey. They rip off the legs, slice the breast, seperate thigh from drum and slice it, rip off the wings, and then leave the rest for the cook to toss or save for soup.
Or do they? To me, the best part of the turkey IS the carcass. If I'm at a family gathering, I immediately lay claim to it as soon as carving is done. If allowed to, I'll just have at it right there, otherwise I'll take it home (no breast please, just the bones). It's great the next day- just nuke for a minute or two to take off the chill and liquify any congealed juices. Even better is when I make my own turkey.
For company, I control the carving and how much meat comes off the frame, how much of it gets ripped apart, etc. As soon as they leave I can start to nibble, or just refrigerate. The absolute best is making a turkey just for its own sake, no occasion. Then I can carve it, put the slices/limbs away, and then just go to town.
A carcass from even the worst cook will generally be at least somewhat juicy. Meat in close proximity to the bones will have the most flavor and remaining juices. I can spend at least half an hour- more if I don't have to share- in pure bliss ripping shreds/hunks off the bird. You get the small clingy bits of white meat that cling to the ribs. The "scallop" -which I usually extract and slice while carving but not everyone does- is 2 rich nuggets of flavor along the back. I love the shreds along the backbone- the part where top ends and the fatty, juicy "ass" at the end between the legs where the main cavity opens. There are wonderful, chewy threads between the fascia of the flaps that cover the main cavity. There are the bits from the edges of the keelbone that you really can't carve out. There are the solid bits of meat from around the "drumstick" of the wing, and especially around its socket. Oh, I could go on and on ... but I do have work to do. Anyone else share my mania?

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