Monday, November 19, 2007

Roasting A Turkey According To Giada And Ina

Instead of going through Giada's and Ina's entire Thanksgiving shows, I thought I'd get to the meat of the matter and look at how they they each cook their turkeys. They are somewhat different.

(I don't know why the FN couldn't produce NEW Thanksgiving episodes with Giada and Ina, or did they and I missed them?)

This is Giada’s Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus. Go to the recipe for the exact cooking times and amounts.

Giada cuts lemons, oranges and an onion in wedges to cook inside the turkey. She says they will keep the turkey meat flavorful and tender. She also chops rosemary, oregano and sage.

Next Giada melts 2 tablespoons of butter for the rub for the outside of the turkey. She adds herbes de provence, pepper and olive oil. She uses dried herbs for the rub, because fresh will burn during the long oven time.

She takes her orange and lemon wedges and places them in the turkey. She squishes in the cut onion last with the fresh herbs and ties the legs. (These herbs will be in the INSIDE of the turkey, so they won't burn.) Giada says you can do this part up to a day ahead. Cover the turkey and keep it in the refrigerator. 30 minutes before cooking, take it out.

She spoons over the rub mixture and rubs it all over the turkey. "Massage everything." She does an interesting thing. She loosens the breast skin and smooths some of the rub under the skin on top of the breast. Good plan. Remember, I put stuffing under the skin to keep the turkey moist.

Giada covers it with foil, so the breast and legs don't brown too quickly and puts it in the oven. After 20 minutes, she adds stock to the pan.

The turkey comes out.

For the gravy, she melts 5 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and stirs in 1/3 cup flour. She adds the skimmed pan drippings with 2 cups of stock and brings it to the boil. It looks really anemic. It's much too pale.

Giada arranges sage on the turkey platter and slices additional lemons and oranges and places those around the turkey too. It's pretty, but my Lady Apples are prettier. But it looked good and if you're not planning to stuff your turkey, this would be an okay way to go. In fact, it would be fine with roast chicken, as well.

Ina produces a beautiful turkey. She says she proposed cooking a ham for Thanksgiving, but her friends rebelled and she went back to her Perfect Roast Turkey. She says she doesn't understand why everyone's mother always got up at 4 in the morning to put the turkey in. A 12 1/2 pound turkey should take 2 1/2 hours to cook. Well, most people don't cook turkeys that small, but I always find my turkey is done before I expect it to be.

She stuffs the cavity "full, but not packed". She ties the legs together and tucks the wing tips underneath. Ina brushes the bird with melted butter and seasons the outside with lots of salt and pepper. (I must say I never do that...I probably should). She cooks it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 1/2 hours uncovered.

Ina lets it sit for 20 minutes and carves the turkey in the kitchen. Giada had someone carve it at the table in the dining room...Not practical. Ina cuts off the legs and puts them on a platter and then cuts down each side of the backbone to get each breast off separately. Then she slices them across lengthwise. Me too!!!

We don't get her recipe for gravy, but they do show her serving some. If you're desperate, use Giada's, or wait for mine. Soon, I promise...


Emiline said...

Hmmm, they both sound good to me. I can't wait for Thursday! I love the idea of Giada's turkey with the citrus and herbs. Too bad about her gravy...

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I don't know about her turkey, but Giada's garlic and citrus roast chicken is to die for, so I'd at least put my vote of confidence on her turkey if not on her gravy.

Sue said...

Hi Em,
Giada's did look good, but I don't serve turkey enough to not stuff it.
Do you have the bar under control?Oh, cripes, I have to buy gin...for my S-I-L...

Hi Shortie,
Are you going crazy yet?
I think I remember that recipe of Giada's. What could be bad?