Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey Day 2014

Turkey Day 2014 has finally arrived and I am happy to report that it came out fantastic. All my test recipes in previous posts helped me accomplish an ultimate Thanksgiving dinner. The previous posts can be found here (#1#2#3). This post won't go into all the particulars but I will recap what I did. In addition I will discuss some great things that really made my Thanksgiving dinner special. A picture is worth a 1000 words and this picture is no exception. Not to confuse you but that is not a traditional waffle you are looking at. Feast your eyes on a Waffleized Stuffing which means I took stuffing and put it into my waffle iron. That's right I took my stuffing and put it into my waffle iron. I came across the waffle idea on Triple D and man is it good. Stuffing turned into a waffle is a leap forward in culinary thinking if you ask me. Suffice it to say it came out great but more on this later.

While we are here we might as well go over the picture in the upper left corner of your screen. The plate is what I call Thanksgiving on a plate. A perfectly formed Waffleized Stuffing, topped with Turkey Roulade, creamy mash potatoes, homemade gravy and cranberry sauce. Oh dear God was this amazing!!!! The two roulades are white and dark meat. 

So I started out with a 17 lbs Turkey. I will describe some of the steps I took to create the above dish. If you really want details click the links above. Although covered in the previous blogs I would be remiss if I did not mention that I dry brined the bird for 24 hours.

Break down the bird with a very sharp knife. You want to separate the Breast crown from the back and set aside. Do the same with the Turkey legs but make sure you get as much meat as possible which will include a little back meat too. I used the wings for stock but you can use them for something else. Smoked wings are great. You could also make a baby roulade here too. It's only limited to your imagination.

Remove skin!!!! For detail click the links provided.

Breast removed with tenderloins. Breast injected with butter is an option which I did here.

Coat the skin and breasts with Activa RM. Invert breasts on to themselves and make a nice little rolled up roulade.

This is where the shaping of the roulade takes place. Starting out with a very large and long piece of food grade plastic wrap (I use a 24 inch wide version) I start rolling the roulade very tight using a lot of pressure. I want to form a perfect cylinder. After several layers of plastic wrap coats the meat I sprinkled on the plastic wrap chopped up herbs and peppercorns. I used sage, thyme and black peppercorns but you can use whatever you like. As I am rolling the roulade up I am piercing the plastic wrap with a toothpick (or sausage pricker) to allow air to escape which will allow for a tighter roll.

After the roll is shaped into a perfect cylinder and is nice and tight I tie it off with a string. Again I pierce the plastic wrap with a toothpick or whatever you have. In this picture I am using a sausage pricker. Note: this picture is not the actual roulade but just an example of me piercing the meat. The piercing serves two purposes. It allows for a tighter cylinder and as the Roulade cooks the herbs perfumes the meat with Herby flavors (yes that is a made up name). I know what you're thinking.... why not roll up the Turkey breast in the Herbs? Because the herbs would interfere with with binding properties of the Activa RM. How about rolling up the herbs on the outside of the meat? This is also a NO NO because the herbs would overpower the meat. My indirect approach will allow for subtle fragrances to permeate the breast. Please refer to the above links for additional instructions.

Heaven on a plate!!!!

Now for something special. This is not one of my brilliant ideas but something I came across on the web. A special thanks to for sharing their Turkey Leg Roulade idea. So what to do!!! Carefully debone the legs. For a lot of detail click on the link. 
Carefully remove all tendons using a knife and pliers. The removal of tendons is tedious work but well worth it. You will be happy you did. All done!!!

Coat the Turkey Legs with Activa RM. Invert breasts on top of each other to form a perfect little package. Sorry for the lack of photos but I missed a couple of important shots during the process. All by myself in the kitchen with an I-phone. Roll up in the roulade in plastic wrap as described above.

I Sous-Vide the Turkey Legs at 151 degrees based on Chefsteps recipe but next time I think I may use 148-149 degrees. Just a personal preference.

I gave it a 4 minute oil fried bath to get it nice and dark. 

All done and it was delicious.