Masters in the Center

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

If You Want To Be Happy In A Million Ways -- Part 1

Bird Is The Word Crew
Originally uploaded by Gare and Kitty.
If you want to be happy in a million ways.. invite 8 of your closest friends to your home for a holiday party, and cook a turkey while you're at it! Yea!

This last weekend Kitty and I hosted a party involving great friends and turkey. It was a little nerve-wracking to clean the house, wash the dishes, gather the extra plates, and make all the invites but it was well worth it. We spent the afternoon with friends we hadn't seen in months.

We also learned that cooking a turkey isn't as hard as its made out to be. We cooked a mighty tasty bird. We had it stuffed and in the oven by 8:15 am. It was a 19 lb bird and we were shooting for a 2:00-2:30 dinner time. Our guests were a bit late though, and I think we ended up eating around 3pm or so. The bird was golden brown and at 185 degrees Farenheit around 2. Apparently a bird is done when it reachers 185 F in the meat of the thigh. This bird, massive as it was, needed an hour to cool before carving. We set it in front of an open window in our kitchen. The draft blowing over the bird couldn't have been any warmer than 40 F, and the thing took an hour to cool! I was shocked at that. This is the first turkey I've cooked myself, and I had no idea that they would need so much time to cool before carving. Part of the reason for cooling is to let the juices mingle and flavor before letting them drip out. The other reason is because 185 F is just too hot to touch!

Luckily I had two friends there who knew how to carve the bird. I had no clue. I think I've learned some for next year, when hopefully I can do a bunch of carving myself. Many thanks for Mark and Phil though. We wouldn't have hand a nicely carved Turkey without them. Nick could have helped, but he was still on the road when we started carving.

The Legs came off first. Those had to be split off the bird at the joint. After those were off the bird was set to cool in front of the window. For an Hour!

More to come later...


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