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How big is your turkey?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Do you follow the notion of "bigger is better?"  How many people do you serve your turkey for and how big is your turkey?  Also does anyone else follow the farmer's rule that the smaller the produce or animal the tastier it is?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 25

Two, 12-14#, brined and deep fried, 42-49 minutes, rest for 20-30 minutes.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #3 of 25

30/  23--27 pounders  Cook overnight in Combi Ovens. Plus 4 of our own Honey Baked Hams, and some pan seared King Salmon.  about  600 guest.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #4 of 25

15 pounder, only having 6 guests this year. Keeping the menu traditional, stuffing (yes in the bird and no lectures), sweet potatoes, a salad, and a veg of some sort. Mashed potatoes and gravy of course.

post #5 of 25

Two 12 - 16 pounders, one half ham. 

 

BDL

post #6 of 25

The kitchen I'm working in is making "Turduckins" (chicken inside a duck inside a turkey) this year.  I don't know how many, but I'm sure I'm going to find out (and probably temporarily hate life) come next Wednesday or early Thursday morning...

post #7 of 25

Whilst I don't cook a turkey for Thanksgiving (no such holiday here in the UK) - I alternate turkey/goose for Christmas lunch each year.

I cook a turkey of about 11-14 lb - no bigger.  It serves 8 of us for Christmas day lunch, and then some cold for Boxing Day.  I then chuck what remains - we're sick of it, after two days!  I used to do all the 'turkey and ham pies', 'turkey casserole', 'turkey curry'...  no longer!

post #8 of 25

We always cook a 20-25# bird, even if it is only a small gathering.  My family likes the leftovers and come up with many creative ways to use them so a large bird like that doesn't go to waste.

post #9 of 25

Gee, I have no idea.  This is the first year in quite some time where we will go to someone's house, eat and then come home.  I'm off the hook!  Well, I doubt we'll show up empty handed so there will be some effort involved.

 

But in general I've gone for the smallest bird for the number of guests involved.  I can go 2, maybe 3 days before I just don't want to look at those leftovers any more.  But that approach did backfire once - a few days later I realized the bird was completely gone and I had not yet had a simple turkey sandwich.  Drat!

 

mjb.

 

 

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #10 of 25

Biggest problem we have is the dark meat, 905 of our members wont eat it nor the legs. So we split our turkeys then bone out all dark meat and legs and use to make turkey burgers and or feed staff. We do roast a few legs and have some dark available just in case. I only eat dark meat as I find it much more flavorful and moist.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 25

I only eat dark meat as I find it much more flavorful and moist.

 

Although I do eat both, I agee with your assessment.

 

Shows, too, how quickly food fashion can change. When we were kids, it was the drumsticks that got fought over. This was with chicken as well as turkey. Now everyone wants the breast meat.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

I only eat dark meat as I find it much more flavorful and moist.

 

Although I do eat both, I agee with your assessment.

 

Shows, too, how quickly food fashion can change. When we were kids, it was the drumsticks that got fought over. This was with chicken as well as turkey. Now everyone wants the breast meat.

 

 

 

I prefer dark meat on chicken, so much more tender, flavorful and forgiving to cook.  I'm a newcomer to turkey, have never really liked it.  I figured since I like dark meat chicken I'd like dark meat turkey and tried a turkey leg a couple of years ago.  Turns out the drumstick is very hard to eat and now I stick with the breast.  Odd.
 

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #13 of 25

I have to admit that I prefer goose for Christmas, but my family are equally split between goose and turkey - that's why I alternate the bird for Christmas.

post #14 of 25

No matter how I ever cooked Goose, I always found it a bit greasy. Sometime even more so then duck. Have only cooked about 10 in my lifetime and have tried different ways, on rack, upside down an a turkey stand etc. still slightly greasy, but I love flavor of it.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #15 of 25

Domestic goose is more greasy than wild, Ed. It's a low-melt grease at that; as you clean the bird the fat actually melts in our hand.

 

But it can be controlled, just as you can control it with duck.

 

The big problem with goose in America---and I suspect the reason more Americans don't choose it---is price. Just looked at a frozen supermarket goose, and the pricetag was a whopping $72. Seventy two bucks for an 8 pound bird; when turkey is 59 cents/lb.

 

I'm sure it's a chicken & egg situation. If 1. goose was more reasonably priced, and 2. the celebrity chefs started touting it, then it would be more popular. But, of course, the only way the price would come down is if there was enough demand for mass production.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #16 of 25

I am assuming the last one i purchased was domestic because it was not frozen, and the place had live duck and chickens running around. The goose he kept seperate as they attacked the other birds.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #17 of 25

Wish I could find 59 cent a pound turkey, cheapest I have seen so far is 79.

post #18 of 25

I buy a local, organically raised goose  - and I pay whatever they ask!  I NEVER buy frozen meat.  A free-range, Bronze turkey or a Norfolk Black in the UK can run to  90GBP for the size I buy (no bigger than 12-14 lb)....    goose is slightly cheaper.

post #19 of 25

Wish I could find 59 cent a pound turkey, cheapest I have seen so far is 79.

 

The Kroger here in town had them at 59 cents on Friday. Earlier in the week they had the same birds for 79. Don't know what, if anything, that signifies.

 

We usually wait until after thanksgiving to buy birds. They practically give them away, then, and we typically put two or three in the freezer to use during the year.

 

A lot depends on how overstocked a particular store might be. Last year, for instance, one of the Meijer stores in Lexington was selling 12-15 pound turkeys for $4 each. But the other Meijer didn't have a clue about that sale.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #20 of 25

I am assuming the last one i purchased was domestic.......

 

No doubt it was, Ed. It's illegal to sell wild game in America. And wildfowl were the primary reason those laws were passed. But that's no big deal. Other than the fat issue, goose is an all around better choice than turkey, IMO. It certainly tastes better.

 

The goose he kept seperate as they attacked the other birds.

 

.....And dogs, and predators, and people. I'd rather face a wild boar, armed only with a knife, than a pissed-off goose. They can be really vicious. 

 

Geese are used at watchdogs all through Europe because of their temperment and sense of territoriality.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Geese are used at watchdogs all through Europe because of their temperment and sense of territoriality.



I've been bitten by a few of those "watchdog" geese before...  And I had been invited to visit too...I guess I forgot to have my ID processed through the chief security goose first...

post #22 of 25

26 pounds.  A total of 9 for dinner (plus the dogs and cats).  We like leftovers. More or less traditional Thanksgiving fare (carb heavy) - mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing (a couple extra pans with Portuguese sausage), gravy, applesauce, cranberry sauce, rolls or biscuits, salad, fruit, pickles, olives, green beans (stir fried in black bean and chile garlic sauce), pumpkin, pecan and cherry pies.  Burp.

 

If I still lived in Hawaii, we would have rice and macaroni salad too.  And then we would make jook (congee) with the carcass afterwards.


Edited by pohaku - 11/21/11 at 10:36pm
post #23 of 25

There will be two 14-lb turkeys, plus additional drumsticks and/or thighs.  The dark meat is a hands-down favorite.  Daughter and I started doing two turkeys to keep from wrangling over the carcass,  which we both want.  Also a large turkey is much too heavy too move around, takes a great deal longer to cook,  and there is not a platter large enough.  There will be about a gallon of gravy,  and and copious amounts of dressing.  Hopefully we will have lots of good leftovers.  Many of the guests will bring side dishes.  It's always a surprise. 

 

"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #24 of 25

14 pounds. Believe it or not every year my aunt gets the biggest turkey she can find. One year she had one that was 41 pounds! Can you imagine. I had the fun of carving the beast.

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Thanks,

Nicko 
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post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

We always cook a 20-25# bird, even if it is only a small gathering.  My family likes the leftovers and come up with many creative ways to use them so a large bird like that doesn't go to waste.


Me too. Right after the meal, the carcass gets stripped, and into the stockpot it goes. After that it is turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey a la king, turkey casseroles...

 

I have heard people say that it is basically a chore to get through all the turkey leftovers, but we are bummed when they are all gone. I think the people who don't like the leftovers probably cook their turkey until that plastic thermometer thingie pops up, or "until the legs move freely and the juices run clear."  In other words, until they have turkey jerky. :)

 

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