I promised I would post about my turkey months ago, but time has flown by with the holidays and work and stuff. So here we go — my turkey talk in a pictorial format!
The thing about planning a traditional Thanksgiving dinner when you’re not in the States is that you have to give your local supermarket lots of forewarning. Like, LOTS. I can’t stress this enough, because the first year we ended up with disappointing paper-wrapped chunks of turkey breast as a result of meat department misunderstandings. And then, even after you place your order, you have to continue checking in and occasionally poking at them to see how things are coming along. Much like how I cook a turkey, come to think of it. This is because typically, Finnish supermarkets don’t even consider putting out their frozen birds until the week after Thanksgiving, for the Christmas shoppers. Which didn’t do me a whole lot of good that first year and ended up seeming sort of like a slap to the face after all the effort we’d put into trying to get one delivered just a tad earlier.
This year, though, we showed up a month early at the meat counter and specifically requested a full bird for the last weekend of November. Frozen or fresh, it didn’t matter, just a whole bird. The lady behind the counter dutifully nodded and took down our information, saying she’d call the farm and arrange to have one reserved for us. Then, we got a phone call a week and a half before the big day saying that the farmer was literally sharpening his knife and getting ready to pounce on our bird. We frantically called back telling them to stop the guy, since it was far too early for a fresh turkey. Trying to stuff the damn thing into our tiny freezer, then having to defrost it days later sort of seemed entirely besides the point of ordering it that way. Trying to specify exactly WHEN to kill it gets far too complicated, so we once again ask if there are any other options. Finally, they get a call from their supplier and find that they will receive the frozen ones in time, so promise to put out a few in the bins earlier for us. So we rushed to the store when they called a few days later and victoriously brought home our 6 kilo (13.227 pound) bird.
I used Alton Brown’s Perfect Roast Turkey instructions. Well, a conglomeration of them since he’s put out a few different updates to his method over the years. There were also quite a few videos of the various Thanksgiving specials he’s done, and I kinda pick and chose from all of them while I was forming my gameplan.