After the Storm(s): Choosing – and Cooking – the Holiday Turkey

roast turkey

The turkey gets transferred to a cookie sheet and put in a VERY low oven to rest while I make the gravy. (Not wise to put it on the antique ironstone serving platter until the last minute.)

Ok, not right away for the cooking part. But Thanksgiving is coming at us at an alarming rate, earlier this year than ever, and it’s none too soon to be ordering a suitable turkey.

I am of course extremely grateful to be worrying about things like “what kind of turkey?” rather than things like “ will I have a home to cook the turkey in?” But no amount of gratitude solves the question of the hour: do I want a heritage turkey or just a plain old organic free range turkey?

While I’m making up my mind:

* My not very scientific comparison of heritage vs. (semi) conventional birds, along with a detailed explanation of why heritage costs so much, is here.

* Advice on special cooking techniques for heritage birds is in the second section of Wild Turkeys, Thanks but no Thanks.

* My detailed guide to size selection, brining, roasting, and gravy making, along with a recipe for wild mushroom and chestnut stuffing, is here.

* Local Harvest is the place to search a national database for (duh) a local bird.

and of course – VERY important, as far as my family is concerned -  there’s

* Fresh Chestnuts: Roasting them, Peeling them, Putting them in the Stuffing. (Especially useful for vegetarians and vegans, who may wish to move the chestnuts into a starring role).

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