this is the bird chillin in the fridge. it sat there thawing 2 days before, had some seasoning rubbed on it (including under the skin on the breast meat) the day before, and today its ready to take part in the festivities.
but before taking the bird out the ice box, he prepares the stuffing. this starts with some olive oil in a pan.
he adds to this some onions and celery…
about a heaping teaspoon of salt and some cayenne powder.
multi-grain crix was the flick this time around. this is how fine they go with it.
he mashes about 5 big potatoes in a bowl and adds the cracker crumbs, a box of evaporated milk, a little melted butter, some chives and the minced beef. mixes it all up.
this is what the mixture looks like before its oven appointment.
now the bird is set free from its chilly prison. butterball turkeys (i don’t know about any other brand) come with this handy string that you wrap around the bird. you’ll see it in action a little later on.
dad stuffs the bird first from the cavity below, then from the neck cavity, so the bird is well packed. now, both my father and myself usually listen to the advice of alton brown of food network fame, but on this matter we differ. alton’s advice is to cook stuffing separate so that the bird cooks faster and dries out less. for the turkey drippings to soak into the stuffing for that blow mind flavour… sorry alton, but we’ll wait. and we’ll do our best not to let the meat dry out too much.
a lot of pinning up takes place. a pin goes into each wing to hold them down. this helps it cook evenly.
then an operation of a pin job goes on at the neck cavity to help hold the stuffing in.
remember the string? well there yuh go. lift and transfer.
which he uses to glaze the turkey.
then its into the oven preheated at 350. following the butterball guide, on which our turkey fell closest to the 10 to 18lbs category, this bird would roast for about 3hrs.
every hour, he applies the honey glaze to it. gives it a nice colour and texture. according to how it looks when he takes it out, he adjusts the temperature of the oven. this time around, he backed down to 300 after the last glaze for the final hour.
the stuffing is always a hit, and with a strong supporting cast, there’s no better way to bring in the new year. especially since mom bought chinet so we didn’t have to wash wares. no place like home on new year’s day.