26 December 2015

Talkin’ turkey...

...and trimmings. I just want to show you a couple of photos of the turkey that I poached and then browned in a hot oven yesterday. It turned out good, but the breast meat was not as tender and moist as I remember past dindes et autres vollailles being in the past when poached this way. If you tried it, I hope it wasn't a disappointment.

Above shows what the turkey looked like when I took it out of the pot of poaching liquid. I have to say the broth it made, with some carrots, onions, bay leaves, etc., was delicious. I told Walt I could have been happy just having a bowl of that broth with some bread as my lunch.

And this second photo shows the turkey after I browned it in a hot oven. I basted it with melted butter before putting it in to brown, and I sprinkled it with salt, pepper, and some smoked paprika. As you can see, it might have poached just a little too long (about two hours in all) — the drumstick on this side was starting to fall apart, and so was one of the wings. No big deal though. By the way, here's a page in French written by French food and TV personality Jean-Pierre Coffe explaining how he poaches and roasts turkeys and capons.

To go with the turkey, I made a pan of bread stuffing, which was a baguette cut up into cubed, moistened with melted butter and turkey broth, plus a lot of other ingredients: chopped onions, celery, bell peppers, walnuts, cranberries, mushrooms, sage, and smoked sausage. It's a kind of bread pudding with some beaten eggs mixed in as a binder, and it goes well with poultry.

Walt cooked some Brussels sprouts briefly in a steamer, and then cut each one in half and sauteed the halves in melted butter. He dusted them with just a little bit of flour to give them a hint of a crust. He makes those every year during the holidays, using either butter or olive oil. They aren't cooked to death and they have a slightly sweet flavor and an appealing texture. Alors maintenant, attaquons les restes...


  1. "I could have been happy just having a bowl of that broth with some bread as my lunch".....
    Wow! Isn't it just...
    spotted some ramen noodles on the "forrin" shelf in Intermarché the other day... will be going to get some later!!

    My problem with the over-poaching was down to having to stuff the cavity...
    the bird had been prepared by our butcher and almost all the skin was missing from halfway along the breast...
    that meant that there was nowhere to stuff at the front!
    It was a chestnut and rabbit stuffing so had to be brought up to 100 Centipedes at the centre... a meat stuffing just doesn't work if "ovened"!
    If there had been enough skin at the front to stuff, I would have done it at the "between" stage... then roasted the boid!

    Walt's done those sprouts just how I like...
    but I add a jar of whole chestnuts at the sauté stage...
    something I inherited from my Gran.
    Have a good w/e guys!

  2. The poaching and roasting worked perfectly here, Ken. We thought the meat was wonderfully moist.
    One does have to be patient waiting for the cooling off I found, though. Wrangling a hot bird out
    of a pot isn't that easy. Our drum sticks over cooked a bit too, but the rest was just right.

    1. My 2015 discovery: you can use a length of plastic tubing to siphon the still-hot poaching liquid out of one pot and into another. Then the turkey takes less time to cool, making it easier to get it out of the poaching pot and set it on a roasting pan. We had more turkey for lunch today (as one does on December 26). I made gravy (sauce blanche à la crème) this time, and eating the turkey with that made all the difference. Even the white meat was tender and moist(ened). Tomorrow, slices of poached turkey breast with home-made mayonnaise, boiled potatoes, and steamed Brussels sprouts. On some lightly dressed romaine lettuce leaves...

  3. Next year I am coming to your house for Christmas dinner :)


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