(…use the inflection and pitch that a parrot would use)
My synagogue and a nearby church in West Hollywood serve Thanksgiving dinner to the seniors who live at Triangle Square each year. It’s truly a community effort with setup and service provided by volunteers from both congregations and others of us preparing the food and either dropping it off or sending it over with one of the volunteers. For the past few years I have contributed a turkey and here’s my selfish secret… I do this for a number of reasons, at least one of them self-serving:
- I think it is incredibly important that every community honor its elders
- I love to cook turkey and since I go to friends’ for dinner I don’t get to do that. I love what my house smells like with a big bird in the oven!
- Here’s the most “me” reason of all – with the turkey cooked, rested, carved and out the door with Ed by 10 AM I already have a pot of stock on the stove.
I bought a 12 pound brined fresh bird from Trader Joe’s. Last night I took it out, unwrapped it, washed it and patted it dry. I seasoned it with lots of sage and thyme, put it on the roasting rack and left it uncovered in the refrigerator. Here’s how my morning went today:
- 4:15 AM – Turkey out of the refrigerator to come up to room temperature
- 5:00 AM – Oven on to preheat to 475°
- 5:30 AM – The turkey goes into the oven (breast down!)
- 6:00 AM – Drop the oven temp to 325°
- 7:00 AM – Flip the bird
- 8:45 AM – The thigh is at 175° and the breast 165°. The turkey comes out of the oven
- Flip it again so that it does its 30 minute rest breast down
I carve pretty much every bit of meat off the bone. I take the breasts off whole so that I can carve them against the grain. I pack up the dark and white meat in foil and off it all goes to Triangle Square.
The bones go into the pot with celery, carrot, onion, sage, bay, thyme and S&P and the pan drippings go into a jar. On Saturday I will roast a turkey thigh on top of a pan of dressing and make gravy. On Sunday I’ll make vegetable barley soup.
Next up – pumpkin filled with everything good. Stay tuned…