We ordered a turkey for Christmas from the local poultry-processing company called Volailles Clément. Volaille is the French word for "fowl" or poultry — Clément is a wholesaler who also sells poultry and poultry products (rolled roasts, patés, chicken parts, etc.) at the Friday morning open-air market in Montrichard and at the Saturday morning market in Saint-Aignan. We've been faithful customers of theirs for 16 years now.
Here's what the turkey looked like when we bought it. It had been plucked (plumé) and "cleaned" (gutted, or effilé) in the company's workshop (leur atelier) over in the nearby village of Pouillé, not five miles from here. I've visited the workshop, but just once, when a neighbor gave us a pheasant he had shot on a hunting trip one Sunday. It was not plucked or cleaned, and I didn't want to do that myself, so I asked the people at the Clément stand one market day if they'd do it for me. They said yes, they'd have it ready for me late in the afternoon at the workshop, and I should come and pick it up. When I went to pick it up and asked what I owed them for their trouble, they wouldn't let me pay them. So I never did that again, but I became a regular customer. Below is the turkey ready to go into the oven. I like to roast birds on a rack over water and white wine with onions, celery, bay leaves, and black peppercorns for flavor. That way the turkey or chicken drippings don't burn in the bottom of the baking pan, and you end up with some good broth for other uses.
We regularly buy chickens, capons, guinea fowl, guinea fowl capons, turkeys, and rabbits from Clément when we plan meals for holidays and other special occasions. This turkey weighed just 3.4 kilograms (7½ lbs.). The selling price was 12.95 euros per kilo, which comes to just about $6.50 U.S. per pound. In other words, the turkey cost us between $45 and $50. It was just for the two of us, but at this point we've already had two meals out of it — Christmas dinner and, the next day, turkey sandwiches. We'll have a repeat of the Christmas dinner — turkey, stuffing, sprouts, and puréed winter squash. We'll have more leftovers — a thigh, a drumstick, and a wing — the meat from which will get diced up and will go, along with broth made from the remaining carcass, into turkey-barley soup, a December treat. In all, that will make for at least eight servings for us (likely more), or at least four meals for the two of us. I think we'll get our money's worth out of it.
Okay, so here's what the turkey looked like when it came out of the oven. I had trussed and skewered it to keep the wings and legs in place. We assume this was a farm-raised, or even free-range, bird, but I've never actually asked the Clément people about that. It should be, for the price, and it tastes really good. For a price comparison, yesterday I went to Intermarché, one of our two local supermarkets, and I bought a chicken capon weighing about as much as the turkey. It was on offer at 50% off the regular price. I paid about $12.00 U.S. (one-forth as much, at the sale price, as the turkey) for that bird, which went into the freezer for our lunchtime enjoyment in January or February. That's a bargain price.
We took the meat off one half of the turkey after it came out of the oven. That gave us a gracious plenty for our Christmas dinner, and there was enough of that meat left to make two hefty sandwiches for the next day's lunch. I also boiled the giblets — heart, liver, gizzard, and neck — to make broth for gravy and soup. The liver and the meat from the neck went into the gravy, and Tasha will enjoy the cooked heart and gizzard. So add at least one more serving to the eight or 10 I've already mentioned.