So, I went with the high roast, and I also chose to use our convection oven. Because it's new. So, 400F on convection mode for 45 minutes, then, since the bird was cooking so unbelievably fast, I pulled it down to 350F. The turkey had hit 150F internally at about 1hr, 15 minutes! This is a 22lb bird. When I started carving it, I did find that the dark meat close in to the body wasn't fully cooked and popped it back in to the over for another 20 minutes or so. I overshot that time, with most of the meat hitting 165F, but it still came out fabulously juicy. Since our second bird is only 14+ lbs, I suspect it will only take an hour this way. In the end, better or worse than low temperature, or traditional roasting ? No idea. But it was a hit.
This bird from Green Akeys was frozen when I got it. That's because their turkeys were growing so fast that they would have exceeded forty pounds if they waited until Thanksgiving to process them. We had already had that experience last year. Craziness. Imagine getting a 42lb bird to roast. We named it Turkzilla. I was so stunned by the size of the turkey, that I took numerous photos comparing it to 2 liter bottles of soda and another 14.5lb turkey.
|The turkey on top is nearly 15lbs. The bottom, over 42lbs.|
Those were broad breasted white, a common conventional breed, which grow so large that they are no longer able to reproduce naturally. They do have large breasts, giving lots of white meat, and so the local farm had grown them as an experiment, alongside a few heritage breeds. After last years fiasco, where they ended up with a number of giant Toms, they've converted to only heritage breeds. Though they do have broad breasted bronze, one of the two types of bronze turkeys on the market. According to wikipedia, these too grow so large that they can't reproduce and thereby are not true heritage birds. The chicks are from artificial insemination. They apparently have larger breasts than the standard bronze, which remains classified by that article as heritage, for what its worth. I'm not sure whether the bird yesterday was standard bronze or broad breasted bronze. It had decent white meat, but a lot more dark meat.
My other experiment was with the Blue Hubbard Squash I received from the Winter CSA. I had no ideas what to do with this large squash. I knew I wanted to try to make a soup. In Germany at this time of year, all the restaurants have amazing kerbis (pumpkin) soup, simply amazing. And I've found that butternut squash soup doesn't compare. Maybe the Blue Hubbard will. But the squash was huge, so I also to the farmer's advice and made a pie. The website allrecipes.com has a fantastic recipe for Blue Hubbard squash pie, and was basically the only one I found. It was as good or better than any other pumpkin pie I've had. Now I know to look for winter squash like that again. I'd post a picture, but it looks like pumpkin pie and we already ate half of it!