Last turkey in Italy

My very last Thanksgiving in Italy had to happen a day early, as I have to spend tonight in Milan to make it on an early morning flight to Berlin, but that means all you Americans get some turkey action before your own turkey action:

The Before shot. Beauty, no? Once again, I used the full-blast heat method on a 5.655 kg beast, just rubbed with a very, very generous amount of salt and a reasonable amount of pepper. Total cooking time came to about an hour and a half in the oven, but I overcooked a little. Thankfully, this method is forgiving enough that even overcooked, the bird is tasty. But I’ll speculate once again that it’s because of the better quality turkeys you can find here. It’s not that easy to get your hands on one (every last guest asked me where I found this guy), but the ones that are available tend to be raised free-range and seem to come from normal-shaped specimens (and not those overbred, overbreasted monstrosities that make up the bird dump at your local American supermarket this time of year). Not to put too fine a point on it. But yes, good turkey. Even better with my first successful attempt at actual roux-based gravy. Very, very thick gravy, but delicious nonetheless.

I braised my brussels sprouts this year and tossed in a healthy handful of crisped guanciale.

Clockwise from 9 o’clock: onion gratin, braised brussels sprouts, stuffing, biscuit, roasted squash with apples, mashed potatoes with gravy. Turkey in the middle, maybe? Also missing: pickled beets with quail eggs, pickled carrots and fennel. Only so much room on the plate, you know.

Pecan pie (made in a tart tin because they don’t make pies (and therefore pie plates) in Italy). No pumpkin pie this year because we didn’t want to chance it on the fresh stuff (which tends to have too much moisture and a weird texture, compared to Libby’s-in-a-can). No one missed it however — this pie was like pralines and caramel and everything good in the world, all conveniently placed in a buttery flaky crust.

The After shot. Like something out of Jurassic park. And I guess, Darwinianly-speaking, it is in a way.

And in other news: another article on synaesthetes. This one’s food-related.

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3 Responses to “Last turkey in Italy”


  1. 1 daisy November 27, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    hey dude, your thanksgiving meal looks great. we had our best turkey ever, and i only say this because i was totally digging the white meat. not at all dry. delicious. and while the bird was in the oven, i was making stock with its backbone and other poultry bones (i did some butchering to the turkey to make it cook more evenly and quickly). i put some of the stock into the stuffing, and that made a HUGE difference.

    welcome back to the u.s. let’s eat.

  2. 2 winyang November 27, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Did you spatchcock the bird? I really like that word, “spatchcock”. It’s so — descriptive.

  3. 3 daisy December 4, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    nope, didn’t spatchcock it. only halfway. just the splitting down the back, not the grilling.


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