Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Dinner

Turkey. Turkey. Only turkey.

There was supposed to be a jelly roll. But this turkey took 6 hours from start to finish. That's a lot for Christmas Day. So the rolling of the jelly is for another time.

To ensure it's juiciness (or something) the turkey is brined in very salty vegetable broth. 1 3/4 cups of salt to be precise.

Unfortunately the turkey did not completely fit in the stockpot, so when we pulled him out the brine... Most of him was white but the parts thats stuck out were a scary looking reddish-tan. Ah well.

So we stuffed him with Chestnut Stuffing. Chestnuts. So tasty but completely ridiculous. You must score them, then boil them, peel them, chop them and then finally mix them with bread cubes, celery, onion, and three cups of chopped parsley.

Not even half of the stuffing fit in Mr. Turkey. And anyhow, I'm not to sure about this stuffing thing. Once it's cooked and you take it out of the bird it's a bit...soggy. I suppose some people prefer it that way-but I like the bread cubes to be slightly crispy.

The Gravy

Apparently, you should never see the law or sausages being made. To this list there is just one thing I want to add. Anything you eat that contains or is made with giblets.

First the stock. Yes, gravy stock. Made with giblets.

I almost thought I wasn't going to make it. Giblets are scary. Really. Scary. I was about to decide just to use the turkey neck, which yes, seems sort of odd, but I am familiar with turkey necks. I am not familiar with strange...purple things. (Which I later learned were the heart and the liver.)

Eventually I used only the neck and something pink and unidentifiable, and I am sure if I knew what it was, it would make me feel ill. But I don't and I didn't so I just tossed it in the saucepan along with aromatic vegetables and herbs and boiled it.

But then I had to take it out and chop it, which did make me feel ill. Because of the smell. It was a funny smell, like stew meat, but-different. Fairly disgusting.

Now I made roux. I cooked flour with an equal amount of the most intense smelling pan drippings ever. Really. It smelled of turkey, chestnuts, bread, onion, and even garlic, although there wasn't actually any garlic in it. It was slightly ridiculous.

And now we wisk in the giblet-stock, (which has had the giblets removed), the pan drippings and-the giblets. Again. I reduced it until it was slightly thicker than heavy cream and finally strained into a gravy boat.

Ta Da!

Finally it was all together and we ate it. I'm afraid I did not enjoy it as much as my family because I had, you know, seen it being made. It was amazing nontheless. There were so many flavors layered in it, it was overwhelming. A portion could keep you going for hours, but somehow my brothers managed to eat third helpings.

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