We had visions of turkey grandeur for Thanksgiving. Our Workshop schedule and a Nor'easter encouraged us to change our plans. And we listened. We cut the legs and wings from our birds and then we used our meat saw to cut the backs out of the turkeys. We cut up the backs and added some smoked turkey legs to make a flavorful turkey broth in the pressure cooker. We picked the cooked meat and folded it into the stuffing. We then used the broth to braise the legs. We picked the meat from the braised legs to serve at dinner. We used half of the braising liquid in the stuffing. We used the other half to make a quick gravy.
We used the meat saw to finish cleanly splitting the bird in half so we had breasts and thighs still together for roasting. We seasoned the rest of our birds with salt, put them on racks, and cooked the birds at 62°C for 6 hours in the CVap. Then we browned them in the wood fired oven. It took some careful attention to evenly brown the birds. And it was worth it. We let the turkey rest and then carved them. The breasts were juicy and tender. The thighs were equally juicy and a bit firmer. The meat had an incredible steak-like quality, rich and juicy with a little bit of chew. The turkey tasted like turkey. Not like a brine or a rub or even smoke. At first I was concerned about the texture of the thighs because it was different than what we had done in the past. And then I relaxed, opened up my mind, and enjoyed its meaty goodness. And for those that weren't open to a different texture, there were braised legs: picked, shredded, and equally delicious. Something for everyone, that's what a great Thanksgiving dinner is all about.