Accepting the truth that a watched pot never boils, may we take as a corollary that marking time slows its passage?
Steve Miller sings of “Time keeps on slipping into the future,” his idea, however, a rallying call.
Mine, a little more basic: examining a corollary that may slow or even stop the passing of the summer, and so the warding off of the fall and winter.
Freezing time, in effect, in the summer.
I mean, Kat just returned home from college and the next day starts a full-time summer job as a waitress?
And now, three weeks flashing by, this past Thursday, June 21, she started her training for certification as a yoga instructor – an eight-week program.
Eight weeks at the end of which the entire summer will have just four weeks remaining?
Are you kidding?
Now we are watching time passages closely and if we detect any movement in the calendar, like in the game “Simon says,” in which the players caught moving are returned to their starting point, we expect to send summer scurrying back to June 1, or whatever day Kat returned home to start her summer vacay.
Otherwise, if unchecked, those eight weeks will pass in a blink.
Returning Kat to Swarthmore and moving her into her new digs.
Which segues directly into my thirty-day auto trip to and from Jackson Hole, and the fall.
Too fast. Much too fast.
Must slow things.
Watch that pot.
Today’s post, found below, simplifies the recipe called “Turkey, Roast,” bringing it in line with the methods detailed in the absolutely terrific Roast Chicken and Roast Duck recipes.
Today is Monday, June 25, 2018
Good morning, my friends.
This is my seventy-eighth consecutive daily posting.
Today is a decent day, 70* with a chance of a sprinkle, here, there, and everywhere.
On the screen: The Petrified Forest is a 1936 American film directed by Archie Mayo starring Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart. A precursor of film noir, it was adapted from Robert E. Sherwood's stage play of the same name. The screenplay was written by Delmer Daves and Charles Kenyon, and adaptations were later performed on radio and television as well.
I’m at my desk.
Dinner is an assortment of leftovers made interesting by the insertion of creamy Broccoli Soup. Recipe in queue.
I did mention that I’d report on the duck. Weighing only three pounds, the Rohan duck only took 81 minutes of slow roast. I took it out of the oven at about 6.00am. It was already nicely light-browned.
I returned the duck to the oven, broiler on, and when I finished browning it is was lovely.
Unfortunately, the duck was as the vendor predicted, lean and tough. Too tough for me.
So proud to call this ‘signature.’
It’s as stress-free as perfection gets.
It’s simple: no gravy, no stuffing.
It’s simple: no guesswork.
It produces crispy skin.
And juicy meat.
It produces the lovely color we look for in our roast turkey.
It’s amazingly delicious.
It’ as easy and surefire as the boiled eggs recipe we posted at an earlier date.
And it comes out perfectly every time.
Start with buying the finest turkey you can find.
There aren’t a lot of choices, even in a big city like Boston.
Buy organic and free-range bird if you can find one.
More money of course.
Buy the best you can afford.
The night before we cook and eat the turkey, prepare three aspects of it:
Gather odd pieces for a stock to be made after we’ve eaten the turkey
The night before we eat it, wash and dry the fresh turkey.
Remove the neck and the giblets and cut off the wings.
Put all of these, except the liver, into a plastic bag and freeze.
Later, when we’re finished eating the turkey, we’ll use these pieces, with the leftover turkey carcass and other pieces, to make a small turkey stock which we’ll reduce to gravy richness with which we’ll supplement our container of turkey gravy..
Saute and eat the liver as the chef’s perk.
Prep the turkey for roasting
Still at the night before.
Brush the turkey with a slurry of 2TB salt, 2TB of baking powder, 1TB onion powder, 1t garlic powder, 1TB freshly-ground black pepper, and 4TB water. If overnight not available, slurry the turkey anyway. It'll add a lot during the slow-roast.
The air and the mix will dehydrate and break down the turkey’s exterior, preparing it for a good browning.
Set the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and refrigerate the brushed, uncovered turkey overnight.
Roast the Turkey: the “At our Convenience Method.”
Don’t freak over the whitish color of the bird: it’s what we want to happen with the dehydration and seasoning.
Think crispy skin, nicely colored skin.
We’ll slow-roast the turkey in a 200* oven for 36 minutes per pound.
A 10 lb. turkey will spend 360 min in the oven, 6 hours.
When time is up, take the turkey out of the oven and loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
Note the absence of drippings in the roast pan.
They are where they belong: in the bird.
The whitish color hasn’t changed.
Go about the day.
Finish the Turkey
Finishing the turkey will take 45 minutes, including 20 minutes for the turkey to settle.
Set the oven rack on the lowest shelf.
Turn on the broiler.
Remember that every oven is different so we’ll adjust these times to our own ovens.
Trial and error is involved.
Before putting the roasting pan in the oven, be sure that the turkey breast facing the broiler is level.
I use a small thick bowl, tipping it into the end of the turkey that I want to raise.
Since the roasting pan is far from the broiler the heat won’t break it.
When the oven is hot, set the roasting pan with the turkey on that lowest rack.
Broil the turkey, breast side up, for six minutes.
Check the turkey after the six minutes.
Likely it will need a little more color.
Turkey still looking dry.
Desirable for this moment since we’re crisping the skin.
Return the turkey to the oven and continue to brown it until it’s evenly and attractively brown.
In my oven this takes only 2 more minutes.
Flip the turkey so the backbone is facing the broiler.
This side is usually level naturally.
Brown this side for 6 minutes.
Check it. My oven needs 2 more minutes to nicely brown the turkey.
Then lay the turkey on its side and brown that for only three minutes since the sides rest higher than the breast or backbone.
Flip it and brown the other side.
When all of the turkey is nicely browned, take the turkey out of the oven and check the temperatures of both the breast and the leg.
We are looking for approximately 135* for the breast and 140* for the leg.
The temperature will determine how long more to keep the turkey in the oven.
Before we brush olive oil all over the bird, notice and be proud of how dry and crispy the skin has become.
Delicious waiting to happen.
Turn the oven to ‘Bake’ and set the temperature for 500*.
Pour 3TB olive oil in a small bowl and thoroughly paint the bird all over.
Like magic, the turkey is beautifully golden-brown.
Return the turkey to the oven.
If the temperature readings were 135* for the breast and 140* for the leg, the hot roasting will only take 6 minutes.
But here we assume pinpoint control of the cook by adjusting the time of this final roast depending on the temperature reading.
Take the turkey out of the oven and check the temperature of the breast and the leg.
We are looking for approximately 155* for the breast and 160* for the leg.
Collect the juices from the cavity of the turkey for use later in a stock.
Deglaze the roasting pan and collect those flavors as well.
Later, add the juices from the cutting board.
The recipe for the "Gravy, Turkey, Post-Gravy" will need these juices.
Allow 20 minutes for the turkey juices to settle.
The temperature will go up by 5*, reaching the optimum 160* for the breast and 165* for the thigh.
While lower than the USDA recommended, still higher than the 145* that kills the pathogens.
The result: Roast Turkey extraordinaire!
Succulent, simple, absolutely delicious.
We may serve the turkey as is, no gravy.
The juicy meat and the crispy, salty, seasoned skin easily stand on their own.
And for goodness sake, eat the delicious skin.
Cut out the cream puffs.
Carving the turkey
Separate the leg by slicing through the skin and meat to expose the leg joint that holds the leg to the bird’s body.
Pull the leg away to expose the connection, finishing the separation by cutting at the joint with the bone knife.
Repeat this for other leg.
Cut off each of the wings by pulling each while slicing at the joint.
Separate the breast meat by cutting down alongside of breastbone, pulling the meat away as we slash and slice.
Repeat for the other side.
Slice the breast meat into rounds, like firewood.
Prepare the meat platter and serve!
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