Sunday, November 21, 2010

Barding Turkey - Thanksgiving Week 2010


I decided to re-post some of my Thanksgiving Dishes you may have missed. The first one is how to Bard a Turkey. It is an old and fairly easy technique which gives you the perfect bird!

My husband and I enjoy watching the Cooks Country Magazine show on our local PBS channel. They cook American food and do it again and again until they perfect the method. I have made many of their recipes and indeed they all have been perfect in both taste and methodology.

They had a Thanksgiving Special and talked about "Barding" your turkey which in the old days was the only way to keep it from drying out, as their ovens did not remain at a constant temperature. You essentially cover it with Salt Pork, Cheesecloth and then Foil and bake. They took an old method and re-invented it for today cooks.

I have to say that even though it is a bit of effort, it was the most flavorful and moist turkey I have ever eaten, and everyone agreed. I made two for separate occasions on Thanksgiving and it was incredible. I will never make turkey another way again.

Turkey covered with Salt Pork

You will need one 2-yard package of cheesecloth for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 package cheesecloth (see note)
4 cups cold water
1 turkey , 12 to 14-pounds (my turkey was 19 lbs)
1 pound salt pork , cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (this may be hard to find, we finally got it at New Seasons Market) (I have no idea if you could use bacon, Cooks Country advises against it)

Instructions

For the turkey: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cheesecloth from package and fold into 18-inch square. Place cheesecloth in large bowl and cover with water.

Tuck wings behind back and arrange turkey, breast-up, on V-rack set inside roasting pan.

Prick skin of breast and legs of turkey all over with fork, cover breast and legs of turkey with salt pork, top with soaked cheesecloth (pouring any remaining water into roasting pan), and cover cheesecloth completely with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Roast turkey until breast meat registers 140 degrees, 2½ to 3 hours. Remove foil, cheesecloth, and salt pork and discard. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Continue to roast until breast meat registers 165 degrees and thigh meat registers 175 degrees, 40 to 60 minutes longer.

13 comments:

Kelsey said...

wow, thats fabulous! a fail-proof thanksgiving bird- a whole notha reason to celebrate <3

elra said...

Thanks for posting the recipe and technique at the right time :)

Bethie said...

I saw that same episode this weekend! It looks so easy and so good!!

Mary said...

I've never tried this method of cooking a turkey, but it really sounds interesting. I do know why the use of bacon is not recommended. The smokiness of the bacon would become the main flavor in the turkey. What's great for breakfast doesn't work well with poultry. I hope you have had a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

teresa said...

this sounds outstanding! such a yummy way to make a turkey!

Pam said...

I bet this turkey was so moist, tender, and flavorful... it sounds amazing Cheryl.

The Blonde Duck said...

Drooling....

Peggy said...

That turkey looks absolutely fabulous! Definitely will try this method when it's my turn to cook the bird!

PeaceMan said...

We made it last year and vowed that it would be made that way from now on. It usurped Alton Brown's recipe for brined turkey because you got a similar effect with 1/3 of the work!

Debbie said...

Very interesting and I've never heard of cooking it this way. Looks delicious!!!

chereemoore said...

I watched that same episode and have been debating trying it. Good to know that it turns out well (outside of a tv show).

grace said...

barding is a new technique to me, but the simple fact that you've brought pig into the picture makes you my new best friend. :)

chereemoore said...

I made it with thick-cut, hickory-smoked bacon and it was FABULOUS!!! It did not taste like bacon AT ALL. My 11 lb turkey was completely cooked after 2 hours. A HUGE hit with our family!

Funeral Potatoe's Dunkin Style

I was having brunch for Thanksgiving and remembered a potato dish my Brothers Wife made us which I found out was called Funeral Potatoe...