26 December 2022

The too-oh-too-too Turkey

The turkey we got from our favorite poultry vendeur at the Saturday morning market in Saint-Aignan weighed in at 8 lbs. (3.6 kilos) and cost fifty euros. When I got it home, we tried to get it to fit into one of the three biggest pots that we have in the kitchen. It wouldn't. I really wanted to poach the turkey. Then Walt remembered that we have an even bigger pot in a storage cabinet in the garage. The bird fit in it.

I learned something this time, thanks to the internet: it's best to put the bird in cold water and then bring it up to a simmer on high heat. Check the temperature of the poaching liquid and when it gets up to be about 75ºC (170ºF), and then turn the heat down to medium low. The bird needs to simmer slowly, and not to boil, for about two hours. That makes it very tender and moist. It worked for me. The photos above show (1) the turkey poaching with all kinds of aromatic vegetables and spices, (2) the poached turkey going into the oven, and (3) the turkey as it looked after is had browned for about half an hour in a hot oven.

The meal was turkey with cranberry sauce, bread stuffing, sweet-potato fries, and Italian green beans.

One of the ingredients in the stuffing was some farce fine that I also bought at the Saturday market; it's ground pork and ground veal seasoned with garlic, herbs, and port wine. (I posted a link to a recipe for the stuffing yesterday. Here it is again.. And here's a post of Walt's about the cranberry sauce. It is made with reconstituted dried cranberries and then put through the food processor with a whole orange — skin and all.


  1. That looks lovely.... I like cranberry sauce using a whole orange.... our chicken was stuffed at the neck end with gesiers,ham, breadcrumbs, onion and chestnuts.... and the cavity was stuffed with two whole clemantines "skin and all".... then spitroast in the air fryer [it just fitted].
    Have a happy Boxing Day

  2. Looks like a delicious way to keep the turkey moist. My mom's trick was to roast hers upside down at low heat for the first part of cooking. I really love the look of your 2005 duck with roast potatoes and turnips too. Happy Holiday week!

  3. Turkey fit for a king! I am going to try poaching a turkey breast soon.

  4. Such fun to read and see photos of your culinary expertise, Ken! I love cranberry sauce made with the entire orange! What a special dinner for Christmas! Scrumptious-looking from my side of the screen!

  5. That looks delicious! I was curious about the cost, it seems very expensive. Is that true of most foods in your area, or turkey in particular?

    1. Poultry is expensive this winter in France because there's an epidemic of bird flu. As many as two million chickens had to be destroyed in December alone to try to stop the disease from spreading.


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