3.359 Roast Turkey and a Few Fixings

-Cycle 3, Item 359-
29 (Sat) December 2012

Roast Turkey and a Few Fixings


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seoul-

with Wife, Dominic, Ahn HY + Kim IT + JH, Choi SW, Hwang SE, Jeong D + Yong I, Kim KH, Lee HS +Yun YH, MtG + Noh SJ

This was my first attempt at roasting a whole turkey.  Unfortunately, I overcooked it--by several hours, by the look of it.  While aware of the general guidelines for cooking times--the bird was 12.8 lbs (5.8 kg), unstuffed, so 4 hours seemed about right--I was thrown off by the damn thermometer, a clunky analogue candy thermometer, which indicated a core temperature of barely above 100 F (38 C) at the 4-hour mark--it needed to reach 165 F (74 C).  When I got the same reading 30 minutes later, and again after another 30 minutes, I suspected a malfunction.  Just then, literally smacking myself in the forehead, I remembered purchasing a digital meat thermometer back in Hong Kong for this exact purpose (see 3.144 Linguine con Spinaci with Shrimp Scampi & Puree d'Epinards Simple in Tomato-Parmesan-Olive Sauce)--indeed, in anticipation of cooking this very bird.  That device registered 180 F (82 C) all over.  By that point, the breasts had become turkey jerky.

The turkey had come by way of an unexpected favor from reader Bob, proprietor of Fog City International Cafe in Incheon (see generally posts on Fog City International Cafe).  Amidst a running discussion in a comment thread about how ridiculously expensive turkey can be in Korea, he managed to acquire me one, apparently straight from a US military base commissary.  Delivering the turkey turned out to be a story in itself (see 3.098 Beef Burrito).  Although I did pay him for it, I can't recall the dollar amount on the price tag but do remember thinking that the figure was a fraction of what it would've cost here on the outside.  He said that getting me the turkey was a token of thanks for mentioning his restaurant on the blog.  No thanks were necessary.  If anything, I should be grateful.  Thanks, Bob!

I'd been waiting for a big group occasion, like my birthday, to share the big bird.  (Thanksgiving last month would've been perfect, of course, especially as P31bO/America, except that I don't celebrate Thanksgiving for political reasons.)  So long as I was at it, I also prepared a few side dishes, including mushrooms Bordelaise, cole slaw, broccoli scampi, garlic mashed potatoes, and stuffing, as well as pan gravy.  I invited the camping crew.  Despite the turkey--actually, the dark meat wasn't so bad, when drowned in potatoes and gravy--everyone seemed to enjoy the food.  Very little was left over.  The 4-star rating for this post reflects my impression of the complete meal, rather than just the turkey itself.  

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