Friday, January 1, 2010

the early bird sees the turkey

i've never seen the very start of my father's turkey process. reason being, the bird is in the oven by 7am latest. even when i lived at home, my daily routine included keeping late hours and jumping out of bed early. so i've always used weekends, holidays, christmas and new year's day, to sleep in. this year however, with the help of the most brutal ringtone a phone could have and a late start by my father, i was able to catch the start.

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.

meanwhile, mom crushes some crackers a bit at a time. unlike me with my modern, unique, absolutly premium rolling pin, mom is a fan of the standard traditional equipment.

multi-grain crix was the flick this time around. this is how fine they go with it.

back over on daddy's side, minced beef is added to the pan to get some colour.

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.

next he creates a mixture of melted butter, olive oil and honey...

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.

it's all done and ready to be enjoyed when the stuffing is out of the turkey in a bowl at the side, and the house smells unbearably good. this is no time to be mixing matters.

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.
leh we bubble in 2010!


  1. Love it! So many new tings I learn here: honey wit butter and olive oil as as glaze? Supermarket for me tomorrow for sure. Love the stuffing. That right dey woulda be my meal.

  2. Yuh father have real sweethand!! The food looks good and now I'm hungry. Happy New Year!!!