Turkey 101: It’s Time To Think About Thanksgiving!
Its time to start thinking about that Thanksgiving turkey. And Christmas is just around the corner so another turkey will need to be in the oven! I know for me, and many of my friends, I turn to Google to look up “How to Cook a Turkey” if it is my turn to cook the turkey. Because I only cook turkey once a year (someone else from my family will cook the other one) I usually will have to look up the best way to cook a turkey.
So I have done the Google search for you and have come up with Designers Collective’s take on How To Cook a Turkey. Here it is:
Always rinse your turkey and use paper towel to dry it off and then put in fridge to make sure it is well chilled. And don’t forget to take the bag of giblets out of the cavity of the bird!
A great platter for serving your turkey is another way to show off your amazing design aesthetic.
This platter is vintage Blue Willow designed by Thomas Minton around 1790
This traditional platter is by Johnson Brothers, and the pattern is Historic America. The platter design is called Home for Thanksgiving.
For a modern look try using a serving tray like this one by Alessi.
Simple Bread Stuffing
12 T unsalted butter
4 onions, diced
Fresh sage, chopped
16 stalks celery diced
Pinch of kosher salt and cracked black pepper
½ c plus 2+ more cups Chicken Broth
Melt butter in large deep-dish frying pan. Add onions and celery and cook until the onions and celery are soft. Add cracked black pepper and kosher salt.
Add the chicken broth to soften the onions more.
In a very large bowl cut up some old white bread OR rustic dense bread (about 2 lbs). Add a pinch of kosher salt to the bread. Add the onion mixture to the bread and mix thoroughly. Add about 2 cups of chicken broth to make whole mixture moist. Now add 2 whisked eggs to the mixture and mix very well. The egg will help hold the stuffing together. Because this is such a basic recipe you can now add apples, chestnuts, dried cranberries or pecans to the mixture or keep it simple as is. Either way it will taste great.
Be sure to serve your stuffing in a great serving bowl like this Gabrielle Burke, art-deco inspired, Fitzgerald Collection, ceramic bowl with hand painted gold accents.
Now it is time to stuff the bird.
Stuff both the body cavity and the neck. With skewers, skewer the neck skin flap to the underside of the turkey. Take a long length of string and tie the wings and drumsticks to the body of the bird. This will help it cook more evenly. Put the remainder of the stuffing in a casserole dish and cover with parchment paper. You can put this in the oven about 45 mins or so before you are serving. Slather the bird with butter and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Now its time for basting.
Melt 3 sticks of butter and add one bottle of white wine. Simmer on the stove. Take a large cheesecloth (big enough to cover the bird) and soak it in the basting mix. Now cover the entire bird with this cheesecloth. Add some largely diced vegetables ( onions, parsnips, carrots, and celery) around the turkey. As these cook they will add to the flavor of the gravy.
Put turkey in the preheated oven at 450 degrees for 30 mins then turn oven down to 350 degrees for the remainder of the time. Baste turkey every 30 mins throughout cooking.
It will take about 3-3 1/2 hours to cook an 18 lb stuffed turkey but do ensure you use a meat thermometer to test it. Each oven is different so make sure you test the temperature and don’t just go by the amount of time in the oven. It should be 180 degrees at the centre of the turkey. Let the turkey sit with the cheesecloth still on while you make the gravy but move it to a large serving platter. The cheesecloth will help keep the turkey moist.
There are a variety of ways you can present your gravy. These examples from left to right (top to bottom) are: vintage fiesta war, a Jasper Conran milk jug, a vintage tarnished silver gravy boat and tray, a cut glass small pitcher-creamer.
1 cup Madeira wine
2 cups chicken stock
3 T flour
Remove the vegetables from the roasting pan. Puree the vegetables and set aside. Remove the drippings from the roasting pan and set aside. The drippings will separate with the thick meat juices being at the bottom and the fat being at the top. Have the roasting pan over med heat on the stovetop and add one cup of Madeira wine. In a jar add 2 cups chicken stock and 3 T flour. Shake to mix. Add the pureed vegetables to the Madeira and mix in. Mix in the meat juices. Try to get the meat juice and not the fat but it is ok if some of the fat gets in. Slowly add the flour/chicken stock mixture. Continue stirring all the time to incorporate all the ingredients. Once all in incorporated, strain the gravy and serve alongside your delicious turkey!
This gravy boat and tray is Blue Butterfly by Jasper Conran for Wedgewood
And Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
For Thanksgiving styling ideas please have a look at our Youtube Video.