Cooking a Turkey

<§> TURKEY BROILER Prepare, quarter, and barbecue the same as a chicken broiler. Turn frequently and baste with a good sauce each time you turn a piece.

<§> PAN-FRIED TURKEY Start with a 4-9-lb. turkey that has been cut up according to the directions for chicken frying pieces (see "Cutting Up the Bird" under "Chickens") or as you prefer. In a bowl toss together 3A c. flour, I t paprika, V21 oregano, and I t. salt When the flour and spices are well mixed, pour them into a bag and shake the turkey pieces in there, 2 or 3 at a time, until each is well-coated. Fry the turkey pieces just like you would chicken, first browning them well, then cooking them covered on top of the stove or in the oven until all meat is tender and cooked through (about I—V/2 hours). Remove lid and continue cooking until pieces are crispy again. Remove them. Make gravy in the drippings with the leftover flour/spices mixture, and serve.

<i> TURKEY BURGER If you have a lot of turkey meat you can vary the menu by making burger out of some of it. Grind it and add flavoring ingredients such as ketchup, onion flakes, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt pepper, etc. Shape patties and cook in your preferred manner until the meat is completely done.

& TURKEY SAUSAGE I lb. ground turkey, A c. seasoned bread crumbs, 2 T. chicken broth, 2 T. minced onion, I T. minced fresh parsley, I t. vegetable oil, A t. ground sage, '/41 ground thyme, As t. ground black pepper, I egg white. Combine and blend well all ingredients, except egg white, beat egg with a fork and add. Shape patties and place on nonstick or oiled cookie sheet. Broil 3-4 inches from heat 4—5 minutes (until light brown). Turn and broil other side 2-3 minutes (or until cooked through).

BOILED TURKEY You'll need 12 c. water, 2 large carrots, 3 stalks celery, I quartered onion, A c. coarsely chopped parsley, 4 t salt, I t. dried thyme (A t if you use powdered), A t. peppercorns, and A t. whole cloves for this recipe. You also need a very large kettle with a rack in the bottom, so the turkey won't stick For a 12-14-lb. turkey use a kettle that will hold at least 12 qt. water. A canning kettle will work, although the metal it is made of does not heat particularly evenly. Cutting the bird in half lengthwise through the breast bone will allow you to cook it in 2 smaller kettles by dividing the other ingredients. Put the turkey and the giblets (except the liver) into the kettle and add the water. Add all the vegetables and spices. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes per I lb. turkey Cool the turkey in the broth for 30 minutes then cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, take the turkey from the broth, and remove the skin. Remove the meat from the bones, starting with the large pieces of breast meat. Wrap the meat well and either refrigerate or freeze. A whole breast will slice beautifully, and the other meat can go into casseroles, sandwiches, soups, etc. You could return all of the bones and skin to the stockpot and simmer for 4-6 hours to get additional broth. Chilling will allow the fat to rise to the top of the broth; remove it before storing broth in refrigerator or freezer.

<i> ROASTED TURKEY You must first figure out how you're going to get it into the oven, if you let it grow to a humongous size. Then rub the outside with oil or butter, stuff it if you want and truss. It will cook faster if you don't put the stuffing into the bird, but bake it separately. But a problem with roasting turkey is keeping it from drying out. So it helps— and is delicious!—to have a nice moist dressing inside it and gravy to pour over when you serve it. For dressing, giblet gravy, and seasoning, proceed as you would for chicken, except everything is on a larger scale.

Set the bird on anything that will hold it fit into your oven, and won't burn—like a cookie sheet. Set it down on top of a couple slices of buttered bread to keep it from sticking to the pan. Some cooks roast them breast down, but I prefer breast up. Some cooks, especially for a very large bird, bake it for an hour and a half take the bird out turn it over, and continue baking with the other side up. But I think that's unnecessary extra struggle.

Roasting Temperatures and Times. The following baking times tend toward the maximum rather than the minimum. It's hard to be precise because you may have started with the bird more or less chilled from the thawing, and ovens vary in their true temperatures, and stuffings vary in their density and temperature. So your bird is quite likely to be done an hour or so sooner. That's okay. It's easy to keep a roasted turkey warm in the oven before dinner. It's impossible to hurry one up while your hungry would-be diners are waiting for it to finish baking. Note also that fresh turkeys take a little longer to roast than ones that have been frozen—about 5 or 10 minutes longer per pound.

Roast at 425°F for half an hour, then finish at 325°E Continue roasting until it has turned a nice shade of brown. The larger the turkey, the more baking time. With stuffing, figure on cooking a 6-lb. turkey, 3-3Vi hours at 325°F; an 8-pounder, 3V2-4 hours; a 12-pounder, 4V2-5 hours; a 16-pounder 5V2-6 hours; a 20-pounder, 6-7 hours; and a 24-pounder, 7¥2 hours.

Eating Up a Whole Turkey. This can be a real challenge for a small family. This is not a one-time happening, so you might well do some advance planning. Figure on roast turkey for its first appearance at the table. Serve it with baked or mashed potatoes, stuffing, and maybe a green vegetable, hot giblet gravy, homemade bread, and dessert. A real feast. Now it's not so simple. For the second appearance you could offer turkey a la king with a "white" sauce that substitutes chicken broth for the milk. Add pieces of turkey, pimento, and peas and serve over toast. Next time have turkey sandwiches with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lettuce or whatever. Or turkey (taco) salad. Or turkey pizza. (Marinating leftover turkey in olive oil and rosemary prevents drying.) Or turkey and rice. The last time serve Turkey Bone Soup.

LEFTOVER TURKEY AND RICE Spread out 4 c. cooked, chunked turkey meat in a large skillet or shallow baking pan. Mix together salt and pepper to taste, A c. honey, Ai c. prepared mustard, I t curry powder, and I T. turkey drippings from the roasting. Pour the sauce onto the turkey meat and mix it ail together. Heat thoroughly on top of the stove, stirring as needed, or bake until hot (about 30 minutes at 350°F), stirring once or twice during that time. Let your family spoon this over cooked rice. A sprinkle of chives over all adds more color and flavor.

TURKEY BONE SOUP Break up leftover cooked turkey when you're seeing more bony skeleton than meat on the carcass. Put bones, meat and your leftover stuffing along with carrot chunks and some onion and maybe celery into a kettle with plenty of water. Add a few peppercorns, salt and a bay leaf Cook an hour or until you can get the remaining meat easily off the bones. Then sort out and discard the bones. Now add about Vi c. rice or barley, and cook on low heat until the grain is ready.

CANNING TURKEY—OR RABBIT, OTHER SMALL GAME, OR OTHER POULTRY Cut the bird up enough to be able to precook it in a big pan or pressure cooker. Cook until you can easily remove all the bones, then discard them. Place the hot meat pieces into quart jars. Add I t. salt per jar, put on lids, and process at 240°F (I O-lb. pressure) in a pressure canner for an hour and a half. When the cooker is opened, remove jars and fully tighten lids.

& CANNED TURKEY SOUP STOCK The water that you precooked the turkey meat in is a good basic soup stock. Cool and skim to remove the fat Pour stock into pint jars. Add I T barley, rice, or other soup-grains to each jar, plus small pieces of the gizzard and heart and marginal bits of meat scavenged from the bones pile. Do not add liver. Fill to within Vi inch of the top. Put on lids, process for 35 minutes at 240"F (I O-lb. pressure). Tighten lids.

Turkeys never have to ponder the mysteries of life and love. Reality can be harsh and hard, full of pain you can't escape—but it can also be joyful and marvelous, like falling in love. You can love your plants and animals and feel in control. When you fall in love with another human being, you must trust them to care for you. You're no longer in total control (although I've seen some people manage to come darn near it—loving and being in control of their own life and now their partner's also: a stressful lifestyle). There is a time to love, when it's very hard not to love. Yet you could resist. Would it be better to say no this time and hope for a better match next time? There will be another chance.

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