The Best Turkey EVER

This Thanksgiving we had a larger crowd than usual and were the recipients of not one, but two turkeys, courtesy of Mike and our son, Dan, having won a pair of them at the local Thanksgiving week golf tournament aptly named The Turkey Shoot.

I decided to cook them both. One I did the traditional baste, roast, turn, baste, roast, burn your hand, OUCH, turn method I’ve used for years. The other I did in pieces in my SousVide Supreme.

The comparison of the two was a revelation. You can read the whole story here.

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3 thoughts on “The Best Turkey EVER

  1. Sounds great! Is it possible to use the sous vide without using plastic bags? I’ve been working at eliminating plastic (and non-stick) from my kitchen. I do have limits – I’m not ready to give up my food processor yet despite the plastic bowl but I was happy to find a metal container for my blender. I store food in china or glass containers or damp cloth for produce, if possible, avoiding plastic bags.

    I often make really slow baked roasts and they are very good so I imagine the sous vide method would be great. I had not even thought os doing veggies this way!

    Would putting the items to be cooked directly in the water be dangerous or would it just dilute the flavors too much — not to mention making it difficult to clean?

    COMMENT from MD EADES: You wouldn’t want to put the food directly into the cooker, since that would just be braising and wouldn’t lock in the moisture or the nutrients. Plus, it would make a terrible mess in the cooker, which you can’t submerge to clean. The plastic in the bags, when it’s food grade plastic, is free of BPA and phthalates, which are the main offenders that people worry about. Quality assurance testing by the manufacturer should insure that these are stable and don’t leach into the food. I understand and share your fears. There are some things that you can do without plastic. For instance, you can cook eggs in their own shells; you can make creme brulee, yogurt, and custards in glass or porcelain ramekins, submerged on the rack to just below their rims; and one assumes, though I haven’t tried it personally, that you could cook any food that you would submerge in a bain Marie for even cooking, in a heat-proof, glass bowl or jar, with the water not filled to the rim.

  2. My turkey this year was a wild turkey shot at a friend’s farm in southern Texas, and your recipe turned out OK. (Wild turkey has more dark meat, even in the breast meat, so I think I have some experimenting to do.) I noticed your recipe for mayonnaise. What you said about using my Extra Virgin olive oil explains a lot about my results. While mixing up a batch of mayo one day, I remembered Herve This saying that mayo, mousse and whipped cream were essentially the same thing; fat, air and flavor. I made a batch of mayo using clarified butter, and it came out fine! However, I need to use an immersion-type blender instead of a whisk or it never thickens, and if left un-chilled for too long it collapses pretty quickly.

    COMMENT from MD EADES: What was just ‘OK’ about it? Too bland? Did you brine it first? Too tough? Cook it longer. Not cooked enough? Cook it a bit hotter. The leaner (and wilder) the meat the less tender, often, and the longer you’ll need to sous vide the pouch to get the tenderness you desire. Keep experimenting and keep us all posted!