Mike D eats: 18lb Turkey

Yesterday we cooked the 18lb turkey.

In fact, we made an entire dinner. Kate from Ohio was visiting and JonAbad and I have had a hampering for a giant cook-off, so it only seemed natural for us to assault the turkey that had quietly been taking residence in our freezer for the past four months.

Turkey Dinner!

Our fatal flaw came with the gravy.

I didn’t want to follow Fanny Farmer’s advice (in retrospect… this was exceptionally stupid) so instead we just used the fat and juices that came off the turkey… added some cream and flour and poured it on top of our dinners.

it was terrible. Fatty burned residue that is still able to foil my mouth with unfortunate tastes after two teeth brushings, flossings, and flourides.

Thankfully, the rest of the dinner came out great. Including two pumpkin pies, greenbeans up the wazoo, stuffing, biscuits, mashed potatos (curtosy of the Kitchen aid), and of course tons of meat.

So, if you’re in the area and find yourself aching for some turkey, stop on by the House of Rock.

Mike D’s rockclimbing food ratings:
Turkey: 5.8+ it was a little dry since we kept it in the oven post-cooking to keep it warm
Mashed Potatos: 5.10-
Biscuits: 5.8
Gravy: 5.2-
Green Beans: 5.6

Turkey: Time was the only tough part here 5.5
Mashed Potatos: Kitchen Aid? no prob. 5.5
Baking powder Biscuits: 5.7
Gravy: How the heck are you suppose to make good gravy? 5.11d
Green Beans: 5.6. we used the frozen variety.

14 thoughts on “Mike D eats: 18lb Turkey

  • 2/20/2006 at 12:11 pm

    My Mom makes gravy all the time, but she also uses the more sucessfull method of using a cornstarch and water mix into the drippings to thicken, seems to be a lot easier than the roux method. Bummer that it didn’t turn out.

  • 2/20/2006 at 12:38 pm

    5.2- for the gravy? Dude, isn’t that like…”slight incline?” I’m going off of maybe 5.4 is stepladder, 5.3 is stairs.
    Remember our “gravy competition?” Have you learned nothing of the wonders of corn starch and/or flour?

    We still have 2 turkeys in our freezer. Craziness.

  • 2/20/2006 at 10:27 pm

    I initially made a slurry to mix with, not a roux. It was nicely mixed but starting with fat instead of delicious drippings and broth was our mistake.

    And by our, I mean MikeD and Kate for disagreeing with Fanny and me for not fighting her fight.

  • 2/21/2006 at 10:18 am

    hmm. yes. I think you might be right.

    Though there’s always too much restriction on the path from the plate to my mouth.

  • 2/21/2006 at 12:47 pm

    But the thing that was being restricted in this context was not the through put of food down your gullet fatty, but your and jon’s ability to have a cook off.

  • 2/22/2006 at 3:29 pm

    My dad makes gravy by dissolving a bullion cube in boiling water and then adding a little bit of flour. It was quick and tasty.

  • 2/22/2006 at 6:58 pm

    Okay, here’s a tasty gravy: Make a slurry with flour and water and set aside. To the pan drippings, add a bit of flour and stir around to greatly thicken and brown. Add chicken broth (college inn is very tasty) while whisking. Keep adding chicken broth and/or any broth from simmering the giblets until you get the amount of gravy you’d like. At this point, add the slurry bit by bit until the gravy is thickened to your liking. When it’s a tiny bit thicker than you desire, add a nice bit of cream to add a nice smooth “mouth feel” and tastiness. Season to taste.
    All of the adding, whisking, etc. is done while the gravy is over enough heat to gently simmer. You may need to strain the gravy if any lumps are in it.
    I recommend making more than you think you need.

  • 2/24/2006 at 2:24 pm

    I totally made a miniature turkey (breast only) on the day of the crazy snowstorm to keep my mind occupied. I made gravy, involving no giblet bits, but involving plenty of butter and flour (yay roux!).

    Make the roux in advance – equal parts in volume of butter and flour. Melt the butter on medium low until it stops sizzling. Then dump in the flour and whisk like a madman. It will look gross. It will get runny. It will continue looking gross. Then it will start turning darker color. I generally go for a dark blonde hair kind of color for strong thickening pour.

    Then, when your bird is cooked, take him out of the pan, and scrape all the bits and crap off the bottom of the pan with a whisk and chicken broth. Cook that crap until it’s pretty well dissolved, and then strain out any remaining bits. Also, get rid of most of the fat – there will be plenty from the roux, and the gravy will be a bizarre texture if you don’t skim off the fat.

    With the hot liquid simmering, add the cooled roux, and once again whisk like a mad man. It will come together. It will stop looking gross. And because you used roux, it won’t be lumpy. Unless your roux is lumpy, but you whisked like a mad man, didn’t you?

  • 2/24/2006 at 2:25 pm

    Boy, those pumpkin pies look good, though. I didn’t think to make any of those…

  • 2/24/2006 at 3:03 pm

    I think the ‘get rid of the fat’ stage was what we missed. And also the straining.

    This process listed here is significantly better that what we attempted to do.

  • 2/24/2006 at 3:04 pm

    Yes. the pies were Fantastic. We still have one or two slices left. Though I don’t think they will make it through the evening.


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