Give your turkey a holiday massage

  • By JudyRae Kruse / Food writer
  • Thursday, December 9, 2004 9:00pm
  • Life

Let’s start the day with a little food for thought, which comes to us via this letter from Everett cook Frank Hart.

“I didn’t think about the impact your column had on people,” he writes, “but since my recipes for tur-duc-en were in the Forum, I’ve received many phone calls from friends asking for assorted recipes.

“I thought that with the time of the season, some of your readers may have the sense of giving. I am planning to cook a meal for six to eight people and bring it to the local homeless shelter.

“It would make me feel real good if other readers of your column could do the same. ‘Tis the season of giving and to think of those less fortunate.”

Hart adds, “My fiance and I are also planning to bring at least three or four homeless people home for Christmas dinner, and throw in a gift that will be useful, like thermal underwear, warm coat or maybe flannel shirts.”

Next, speaking of tur-duc-en, we hear from Gladys Jennings of Mill Creek, “A few years ago, I got one from Fred Meyer at Silver Lake. I had to buy a big pan and used foil for a cover. I just followed the directions for thawing and cooking. My grown daughter said that it was the absolute best bird I had ever cooked. The dressing is cornmeal based and a bit spicy, a la New Orleans. I thought it was good, too. It is a lot of meat, so prepare a feast for a crowd!”

Now then, if a turkey figures in your Christmas or New Year’s plans and you’re on the prowl for a little different way of doing it, here’s one. It’s shared by TV host and cookbook author chef Jim Coleman, and it’s called:

Coleman’s holiday rub for turkey

2tablespoons each chopped fresh thyme leaves, rosemary and sage (save all stems)

2tablespoons each minced fresh garlic and fresh shallots

Pepper to taste

1(12-pound) turkey

3lemons, divided

In small bowl, mix together the thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic, shallots and pepper; set aside. Wash turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey in roasting pan and, using your hands (without tearing the skin), lift up the skin starting near the neck, and continue for the entire turkey. Rub herb mixture onto the meat under the skin. Squeeze juice of one lemon over turkey and use remaining herb mixture to coat top of bird. Prick remaining two lemons and place them into the cavity along with the stems from the thyme, rosemary and sage. Bake turkey at 350 degrees for 3 hours (for 12-pound turkey) or until the juice runs clear when turkey is pierced at the base of the leg. The turkey is done when meat thermometer reads 180 degrees inserted in the thickest part of the bird. After turkey is baked, rest it by letting it cool for 15 minutes. Cooling makes the meat firmer and easier to slice.

The next Forum will appear in Monday’s Time Out section.

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