Friday, July 29, 2011

Roast Turkey with Herbed Bread Stuffing and Giblet Gravy (Page 376)

RECIPE #1272

  • Date: Saturday, June 25, 2011 -- 6pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Helen, Charles, Clara, Whitney, and Chris C.
  • Recipe Rating: B
This recipe called for a kosher turkey, which Helen and Charles kindly bought for me in Ann Arbor a few months back. The bird had been sitting in my basement freezer for a while, so I decided it was about time we thawed it and celebrated Thanksgiving in June! I started by seasoning the bird with salt and pepper. The recipe gives you the option of either stuffing the bird with the Herbed Bread Stuffing, or baking the stuffing separately. I chose the latter, as I am a nut about food safety. I had already made the stuffing part of this recipe once, but I went ahead and made it again so that we could have the full experience of the turkey plus stuffing.

I roasted the bird for half an hour in a hot oven, then reduced the temperature of the oven and poured some butter over the bird. I roasted it until it was done, basting every 20 minutes. While the turkey was resting I baked the stuffing. Then I made the gravy. I deglazed the roasting pan with the Turkey Giblet Stock then added defatted pan juices. I whisked some of the turkey fat with flour to form a roux, then added the stock mixture and whisked until the gravy was slightly thickened. This was a solid turkey recipe, with a tasty stuffing and gravy. Everyone enjoyed it, but I probably won't make it again. There is such potential with turkey to make the bird really flavorful, and/or the gravy really flavorful, and/or the stuffing really flavorful, and this recipe had none of that. It was classic: turkey seasoned only with salt, pepper, and butter. Gravy made from only the pan juices and turkey stock. Stuffing with only a few vegetables and herbs. I prefer turkey recipes which are a little more exciting. My old standby roast turkey involves a flavorful brine and a gingersnap gravy. Yum! Or my recent favorite, the Grilled Turkey with Cranberry Gravy is bursting with flavor. This recipe just couldn't hold a candle to either of those. That said, there was nothing wrong with it. If you are looking for a truly simple and classic turkey dinner, this is the recipe for you.

The recipe is here.

Only 21 recipes left to go!

After a few glorious weeks at home, we are hitting the road again. Tomorrow my special gentleman and I are headed back to Europe. I am speaking at a conference next week in Germany. My special gentleman is speaking the following week at a conference in Denmark. His thing in Denmark is two weeks long, starting Monday, while my conference is only a week (also starting Monday). So we are flying from Detroit to Copenhagen together, then we will get on trains headed two different directions. I will head down to Hamburg, Germany, and he will head off to Aarhus, Denmark. I will meet him in Aarhus once my conference is over, and once his conference is done we will fly back together. It should be a fun trip, although given my love of being at home, and my hatred/fear of flying, it's always hard for me to rally for such a thing.

On the upside, this trip is much less logistically complicated than the last Europe trip. There are many fewer destinations, the destinations are easier to get to, and the trip is just shorter. So in comparison, planning for this one has been a piece of cake. That said, I am still scrambling today to get the house ready for the housesitter, get my talk ready, get the things done I had hoped to finish before I left, etc.

I am also wondering where my summer has gone. We are returning from this trip in mid-August. The weekend following our return our good friends Mike and Tim are getting married, so we are headed to upstate New York for their wedding. The weekend after that my in-laws are coming to visit us in Michigan. And a few days after they leave, the semester starts again. The summer is rapidly winding down, I am sad to say. I started the summer with an ambitious list of fun things I wanted to do in the summer months, in addition to an ambitious list of work things I wanted to do. I am disappointed to say that I haven't finished either list. I have made particularly poor progress on my list of fun activities (e.g. I haven't made it to a Lansing Lugnuts baseball game, or to the zoo, or to the Sleeping Bear Dunes...). There's still some time I suppose. This evening, though, there are no fun activities in store for me (except perhaps a trip to Tasty Twist). Instead I will be packing, cleaning, and desperately attempting to get my life in order. And tomorrow, it's back to Europe!

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