We bought a turkey the other day because the sale price was so good and cooked the bird in the oven, stripped the meat, and made stock with the carcass. Mrs J has been wanting dumplings for a while now and today I put the dish together with simple rolled dumplings.
This is a really good turkey soup even before the dumplings are added. I diced celery, carrots, onion, and a couple of cloves of garlic and softened them on the stove top in olive oil with a pinch of dried thyme. These went into the pot with the stock and the already cooked turkey to simmer until the veggies were done. At this point the mixture can sit until you are ready to drop in the dumplings, they only take 5 minutes to cook up. The flour in the dumplings will thicken the broth, but if you want just the turkey vegetable soup sans dumplings you can add a tablespoon of flour to the veggies as you saute them. If you do, add a ladle of broth to the saute pan and stir well to combine with the flour before you dump the lot into the pot.
We bought a frozen turkey while at the grocery store the other day, they were on sale post holiday and the low prices made them hard to pass up. I roasted it yesterday, and then Mrs J demolished the carcass for the meat but not before I carved out half the breast for these pies.Mrs J swore off ready made crusts after making those pumpkin/sweet potato pies the other day. This time she went with the Smitten Kitchen recipe. She has used it before and we liked the results. The SK recipe calling for vodka in lieu of water works great, too. Alton Brown used apple jack in a similar recipe that he used for an apple pie.
The filling for these mini pies was simple enough: Make a roux then add milk to make the classic white sauce. The peas and corn were from frozen and I just stirred them in with the diced turkey meat, the fresh carrots needed a few minutes at a boil first. I also stirred into the mixture a little turkey broth that was left from the last turkey we cooked at Thanksgiving. Seasonings were minimal, just some salt and white pepper, the broth added a hint of tarragon.
h/t to commenter J at Balloon-Juice for reminding me how much I miss West Wing. ”…is there a chance I could kill my guests? I’m not saying that’s a deal breaker.”
BTW, the USDA has changed its recommendations since this show was written.
A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.
I’m having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the idea that Thanksgiving is next week. It couldn’t be the 29th why? Anyway, I’m in no way ready. I’m busy painting, slowly, room by room. The kitchen will be sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Meanwhile, I made my first turkey of the season last week, because I love turkey. I used an herb-spice butter/olive oil spread and herb-spice infuser in the cavity and then roasted it in the traditional method with a tin foil tent.
For the herb butter mixture, I mixed 2 tbsp of butter with dried sage, rosemary, basil, crushed garlic and lemon zest and added about a tbsp of olive oil. Then I lifted the skin on the turkey and spread the mixture directly on the meat, breast and down to the thighs. I used what was left to spread on the skin, along with a good dose of olive oil. I put a cheesecloth ( you could use an infuser or unbleached coffee filter) filled with large amounts of the same spices/herbs and placed in the breast cavity, along with a quartered onion.
I roasted for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduced the temperature to 350 degrees and roasted until the thermometer read 165 degrees. I covered it with foil as soon as the turkey skin was a nice browned color (about 1 hour and 45 minutes in) for the remainder of the cooking time. I left it covered after I removed it from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
It was very flavorful. Moist enough. I think I’ll repeat it on Thanksgiving, maybe adding 1 or 2 halved oranges in the breast cavity.