"Freedom From Want", March 6,1943
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La Belle Cuisine - More Poultry Recipes

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Julia Child's Roast Turkey



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Wild Turkey
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"Thanksgiving Day Blues", November 28,1942
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Norman Rockwell
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La Belle Cuisine


Julia Child’s Roast Turkey

Good Morning America, December 2000

“After 40 years in the kitchen, Julia Child has earned her
celebrity chef's apron many times over. And when it comes
to holiday favorites, the French- trained kitchen wonder
has some simmering suggestions…”


Turkey, Vegetable Oil, Salt and Pepper, Celery, Onions, Lemon (to
season turkey cavity, if desired), Butter, Port or Madeira.

Defrosting Frozen Turkey:

Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. A 20-pound bird takes 3 to 4 days
to defrost in the refrigerator, about 12 hours in a sinkful of water. Warning: Do not stuff your turkey in advance, since the stuffing could start to sour
and spoil inside the bird; goodbye, happy holidays.

Servings: Count on 1/2 pound of turkey per serving, or 1 pound per person, with leftovers. Roast at 325 F (or see below for high- temperature roasting).

Cooking time: For unstuffed birds: 12 to 14 pounds, about 4 hours; 16 to
20 pounds, about 5 hours; 20 to 26 pounds, about 6 hours. Add 20 to 30 minutes in all for stuffed birds.

Internal temperatures: 175 degrees F at the thickest portion of the leg;
165 F in the breast; 160 F in the center of the stuffing. Stuffing amounts
are 1/2 to 3/4 cup per pound of turkey, making roughly 2 to 2 1/2 quarts
of stuffing for a 14 to 16 pound bird.

Ms. Child says that she prefers a flavoring in the cavity (salt and paper, and
a thinly sliced lemon, a small onion and a handful of celery leaves), rather than a stuffing and she cooks the stuffing separately. Make turkey stock
with the neck and scraps (see Turkey Stock recipe below). Save the liver,
heart, and gizzard for giblet gravy (See Giblet Gravy recipe below).


1. To prepare the turkey for roasting, cut out of the wishbone and
cut off the wing nubbins.
2. Skewer the neck skin to the backbone, and skewer or sew the
cavity closed or close it with foil.
3. Rub the turkey with salt and vegetable oil.
4. Roast breast up on an oiled rack, basting rapidly every 20 minutes
or so.
5. Start testing rapidly for doneness 20 minutes before the estimated
roasting time- and note that a sure indication of approaching
doneness is that turkey juices begin to exude into the pan.

Turkey Stock


1. Simmer the turkey neck and scraps in enough water to cover
them, skim off scum that rises to the surface for several
minutes, then salt very lightly.
2. Cover loosely and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, adding water
if necessary.
3. You may also wish to include chopped onions, carrots, and
celery [yes!].
4. Strain and degrease.
5. When stock is cool, cover and either refrigerate for several
days or freeze.

Giblet Gravy

1. First make a simple sauce, as follows. Have the turkey bones
chopped or sawed into 1/2-inch pieces, and brown with a lit-
tle oil  in a heavy pan with a chopped carrot, onion and
celery stalk.
2. Sprinkle on a tablespoon of flour and brown, stirring for a minute
or two.
3. Add a chopped plum tomato, spices, turkey stock, and water
to cover.
4. Simmer slowly, loosely covered for two hours, adding more
liquid as needed.
5. Peel the gizzard and add it to simmer with the rest of the ingre-
dients, removing it after about an hour, or when it is tender.
6. Mince it.
7. Sauté the heart and liver briefly in butter, mince them, and add to
the finished sauce along with the minced gizzard, simmering for
several minutes and adding, if you wish, a spoonful or so of dry
Port or Madeira.
8. Strain, degrease and boil down to concentrate flavor.

High-Temperature Roasting

1. In Ms. Child’s high-temperature roasting system, you start the roasting
at 500 degrees F, and in 15 to 20 minutes, when the juices begin to
burn, reduce the heat to 450 degrees F.
2. Next, add chopped vegetables (1/2 cup of chopped carrots and 1/2
cup chopped onions) and 2 cups of water to the pan, pouring in a
little more water now and then as needed to prevent burning and
3. A 14- pounder will roast in about 2 rather than 4 hours. High heat
makes a brown and juicy turkey, but you have little control in such
a hot oven, and Child thinks the slower, longer cooking produces
a more tender bird.

 Copyright © 2000 ABC News Internet Ventures.

Featured Archive Recipes:
(Work in progress!)
A Tribute to Julia Child
Cajun Fried Turkey
Emeril's Funky Brined Turkey
James Beard's Favorite Turkey
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with
Pan Gravy (Rachael Ray)

Louisiana Smoke-Roasted Turkey
Michele's Thanksgiving Turkey
Orange-Marinated Brined Smoked Turkey
Oyster and Spinach Stuffed Turkey Roll
with Garlic and Wine Sauce (Emeril)

Roast Wild Turkey with Blue-Corn-Bread
and Chorizo Stuffing

Smoked Turkey with BBQ Gravy
(The Neelys)

Stuffed Turkey Breast, Tuscan-Style
Whole Roasted Turkey with Citrus
Rosemary Salt (Michael Chiarello)

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