Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fannie Farmer Cookbook's Instructions on How to Carve a Turkey

Classic advice on how to carve a turkey, from the 1918 edition of the Boston Cooking School Cookbook:

Bird should be placed on back, with legs at right of platter for carving. Introduce carving fork across breastbone, hold firmly in left hand, and with carving knife in right hand cut through skin between leg and body, close to body. With knife pull back leg and disjoint from body. Then cut off wing.

Remove leg and wing from other side. Separate second joints from drum-sticks and divide wings at joints. Carve breast meat in thin crosswise slices. Under back on either side of backbone may be found two small, oyster-shaped pieces of dark meat, which are dainty tidbits.

Chicken and fowl are carved in the same way. For a small family carve but one side of a turkey, that remainder may be left in better condition for second serving.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Turkey Patties

From "Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book, Numerous New Recipes Based on Present Economic Conditions", 1920.
  • One and one-half cups of very thick cream sauce,
  • One cup of fine bread crumbs,
  • One and one-half cups of turkey meat,
  • Three tablespoons of finely minced parsley,
  • Two tablespoons of grated onions,
  • Two teaspoons of salt,
  • One teaspoon of paprika.
Mix thoroughly and then mold into croquettes and dip in beaten egg and then into fine bread crumbs. Fry until golden brown in hot fat.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Roast Turkey with Giblet Sauce

From "Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners", 1913.

Select a plump, ten-pound young turkey; dress, clean, stuff and truss in shape; place it on thin slices of fat pork laid in the bottom of dripping pan; rub the entire surface with salt, sprinkle with pepper and dredge with flour.

Place in a hot oven and brown delicately. Turn and brown back of turkey; then turn breast side up; continue browning and basting every ten minutes until bird is evenly and richly browned. Add two cups water to fat in pan; continue basting every fifteen minutes until bird is tender, which may be determined by piercing leg with small wooden skewer.

It will require from three to three and one-half hours, depending upon the age of the bird. If the turkey is browning too rapidly, cover with a piece of heavy paper well-buttered, placed over turkey buttered side down. Remove the skewer and strings before placing it on serving platter.

For the Giblet Sauce,drain the liquid from the pan in which the turkey was roasted. Take six tablespoons of the fat, strain the latter through a fine sieve. Return the strained fat to the dripping pan and place on the range. Add seven tablespoons of flour, stir to a smooth paste and brown richly, being careful not to burn the mixture. Then pour on slowly while stirring constantly, three cups of stock (in which the neck, pinions and giblets were cooked). Bring it to the boiling point, and season to taste. Chop the giblets very fine, first removing the tough parts of the gizzard; then reheat them in sauce, and serve.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brining a Turkey

From the USDA publication "Poultry: Basting, Brining, and Marinating".

People are always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to prepare old standards like chicken and turkey. Several methods have become popular in recent years. These involve the use of a liquid to change or improve the flavor, taste, tenderness, or texture of poultry.

The verb “brine” means to treat with or steep in brine. Brine is a strong solution of water and salt. A sweetener such as sugar, molasses, honey, or corn syrup may be added to the solution for flavor and to improve browning.

The salt has two effects on poultry, reports Dr. Alan Sams, Executive Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A & M University. “It dissolves protein in muscle, and the salt and protein reduce moisture loss during cooking. This makes the meat juicier, more tender, and improves the flavor. The low levels of salt enhance the other natural flavors of poultry.”

Dry brining is an easy alternative to traditional liquid brining methods. The technique seasons the meat with salt and spices without the use of a liquid salty solution. This two day process, completed in the refrigerator in a food-grade plastic bag, drains moisture out of the poultry, creating a flavorful brine, which is then reabsorbed into the meat without adding additional

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Cut Up a Turkey

From "The American Housewife,Containing the Most Valuable and Original Recipes in all the Various Branches of Cookery", 1841.
The carving knife should be light, of middling size, and of a fine edge. Strength is less required than skill in the manner of using it; and to facilitate this, the butcher should be directed to divide the joints of the bones of all carcass joints of mutton, lamb, and veal, (such as neck, breast, and loin,) which then may easily be cut into thin slices, attached to the bones. If the whole of the meat belonging to each bone should be too thick, a small slice may be taken off between every two bones.
The dish should not be too far off the carver, as it gives an awkward appearance, and makes the task more difficult. Attention is to be paid to help every one to a part of such articles as are considered best.

Fix your fork firmly in the lower part of the breast, so as to have full command of the turkey. Slice down on each side of the centre of the breast, two or three lines lengthwise with the body; then take off the leg on one side, holding the knife in a sloping direction, the point turned towards the end of the body. This done, cut off the wing on the same side, in a line nearly parallel with the length of the turkey.

When you have thus separated the wings and legs, take off from the breast bone the parts you before sliced down. Be very attentive, in separating the wing, not to cut too near the neck, or you will find yourself interrupted by the neck bone, from which the wing must be taken.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fannie Farmer Roast Turkey and Chestnut Dressing

A classic from the famous "Boston Cooking-School Cook Book", by Fannie Farmer, 1918.

Dress, clean, stuff, and truss a ten-pound turkey . Place on its side on rack in a dripping-pan, rub entire surface with salt, and spread breast, legs, and wings with one-third cup butter, rubbed until creamy and mixed with one-fourth cup flour. Dredge bottom of pan with flour.

Place in a hot oven (editor's note: this is around 450 deg. F), and when flour on turkey begins to brown, reduce heat, and baste every fifteen minutes until turkey is cooked, which will require about three hours. For basting use one-half cup butter melted in one-half cup boiling water and after this is used baste with fat in pan. Pour water in pan during the cooking as needed to prevent flour from burning. During cooking turn turkey frequently, that it may brown evenly.

If turkey is browning too fast, cover with buttered paper to prevent burning. Remove string and skewers before serving. Garnish with parsley, or celery tips, or curled celery and rings and discs of carrots strung on fine wire.

For the chestnut dressing:
3 cups French chestnuts 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt 1 cup cracker crumbs

Shell and blanch chestnuts. Cook in boiling salted water until soft. Drain and mash, using a potato ricer. Add one-half the butter, salt, pepper, and cream. Melt remaining butter, mix with cracker crumbs, then combine mixtures.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Turkey Truffles

Take a fat turkey, clean and singe it. Take three or four pounds of truffles, chopping up a handful with some fat bacon and put into a saucepan, together with the whole truffles, salt, pepper, spices and a bay-leaf. Let these ingredients cook over a slow fire for three-quarters of a hour, take off, stir and let cool. When quite cold place in body of turkey, sew up the opening and let the turkey imbibe the flavor of the truffles by remaining in a day or two, if the season permits. Cover the bird with slices of bacon and roast.

From "Good Things to Eat as Suggested by Rufus", by Rufus Estes, Pullman Railroad Car Chef, 1911