Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving; Sous Vide Turkey part 2

Thanksgiving; Sous Vide Turkey Part 2

Ok, so the first day of Thanksgiving has come to a wrap. A pretty easy going day, finished by a little crab, beurre monte, and Rombauer.

I've learned that putting a lot of hard work up front makes for an easier event day, be it Thanksgiving or any other. So here is what was accomplished with the Turkey.

Sous Vide Turkey, part 2.

So first off, meet the Turkey. A small bird, about 15 lbs, but really beautiful Brannigan Turkey acquired from John Paul Khoury of Preferred Meats.

Of course, mise en place. This is the standard mirepoix for the Turkey stock that will be ready to go for the bones.

Leg/Thigh portions separated, breasts, wing, and back broken down. Ready to proceed.

Above is the curing mix for the legs. As you can see, I have cured the legs below. They will stay like this until the morning, about 12-16 hours. At that time, I will post further photos.

Next up the brine. Here is the brine, ready for the bird. The breasts will brine about 6 hours, because they are thin and will be fully penetrated by the salt within that time frame. (See the ice cubes? Liquid is cold!)

Below is the browning of the bones. Fry them in very hot oil until nicely browned on both sides, transfer them to a pot. Work in batches. Then fry up all your mirepoix in the same pan. Add the mirepoix to the stockpot, then deglaze the frying pan with white wine, scraping all the browned pieces and reduce. Add that to the stockpot. Add water, garlic and herbs. Simmer 2.5 hours, then strain.

I did not skim and skim this stock away. I left it clouded and filled with fat because it will be used to make the gravy and to flavor the stuffing. So it will be better this way!

Tomorrow... I will post the photos of the turkey being bagged, compressed and cooked sous vide.

I will finish with a photo of the dinner we enjoyed! Nothing like the Holidays with Family! Until tomorrow... Cheers!

Thanksgiving part 1

Who knew this year would fly by so fast? Most people are still trying to grasp the fact that Thanksgiving is now 2 days away while frantically searching for family recipes. This year I have decided to take a "modern" approach to cooking the turkey.

Many people dread roasting the whole bird, aiming to get the perfect color and equal doneness of both the light and dark meat. It is impossible to do. So, I have decided to approach the bird as I would any other protien, and cook it in such a way as to maximize the qualities of each cut.

Sous Vide turkey for Thanksgiving!

The first step requires an amazing bird. Nothing but the best, a Brannigan Turkey. Remove the breasts with skin on, and the leg and thigh pieces with skin also on.

Debone the legs and thighs. For the breast, I brine in the following solution;

~ 7 cups ice water
~ 1/2 cup salt
~ 1/4 cup honey
~ 1/4 cup brown sugar
~ 1 cup apple cider
~ 6 bay leaves
~ 1 bunch thyme
~ 1 bunch sage, chopped
~ 2 Tablespoons black peppercorns
~ 1 green apple diced
~ 2 cinnamon sticks
~ 1 tablespoon candied ginger
~ zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon

Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup cider to boil with all ingredients. Once salt and sugar are dissolved, pout into a bowl and add remaining 6 cups of ice water to chill. Make sure this is ice cold, then add the breasts and brine in the refrigerator for 6 hours.

I find the above trick with ice water is the way to instant brining and not having to cool overnight prior to using.

I then place the breasts in a bag with 1 stick of butter, 2 tablspoons of maple syrup, a splash of bourbon that has been cooked, garlic, sage and thyme. Cook 3.5 hours sous vide at 144 degrees.

For the legs, I dry cure in the following recipe;

~ 1/2 cup salt (1/2 kosher and 1/2 pink curing salt)
~ 1/2 cup sugar (1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar)
~ 2 Tablspoons chopped thyme
~ 2 tablspoons chopped sage
~ 2 tablespoons peppercorns
~ 3 bay leaves crumbled
~ dash of all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg

Rub the legs and thighs with the mix and place in the refrigerator on a sheet tray overnight, at least 12 hours. Rinse, then add to a sous vide bag and compress with 1 stick butter, 1 cup olive oil, sage and garlic. Cook 12 hours at 174 degrees.

For the carcass, I make an amazing turkey stock. Start by chopping into smaller pieces of 4" or less, frying until very dark, adding mirepoix, apples, sage, thyme, deglazing with white wine, apple cider. Then transfer to a stockpot and simmer for 2.5 hours. Strain and reserve. Use this for your stuffing and gravy!

When the turkey is done cooking, I simply will remove the pieces from the bag, dry them off, place them under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin and my Turkey will be served!

Of course, no big grand entrance of the bird, but I will be able to drink a lot more and worry much less on Turkey day!

Cheers... photos coming as I take them! Happy Thanksgiving!