January 19, 2011

Celebrating Disappointment.

I've heard of cooking a turkey in a trash can. Sadly, my tale is about the turkey that hit the trash can, good night!

Last night, the intrepid, mama de cuisine, headed for the kitchen with great gusto. I'd planned my weekly menu (thank you for the inspiration Kerry!) and was prepared to, well, prepare. I made a beautiful kale salad (credit to Joan) to be used in the coming days (the juice of half an orange and olive oil along with some unsweetened and dried cranberries mingle well). Started a pot of Pasta Fagioli (thanks to my friend Alice and her recipe) while I got the potatoes on the boil and a head of Romanesco tossed in lemon and olive oil and into the oven.

The easy part was supposed to be the Trader Joe's Turkey Breast with cranberry stuffing. It wasn't. While the mashers were wonderful, the Romanesco brocolli tenderly roasted and browning, the turkey was a bust. I'm adept with turkey. (I've been on a quest for perfectly tender turkey and found a couple of different perfectly delicious ways.) I didn't see this one coming, however. It's sold as a rolled and stuffed breast wrapped in an elasticized net to hold it together. We're supposed to cook it in a 350 oven for 20 minutes per pound. Following the directions I stuck my insta-read in and it came out a beautiful 160 degrees. Unfortunately, that was just the outer turkey meat. The inside meat, when cut was a nice pink. Ok, not so nice. Clearly, this style of stuffed breast should have cooked lower and slower.

It ended up in my trash can. I'm all too aware of how salmonella works and also, not the least bit willing to serve dried out turkey breast (which was only going to get drier going back in the oven). A sad sigh follows.

All was not lost though. Leftover chicken found it's way into a subtle turkey gravy I was playing with from the drippings, some stock and vermouth. It was yummy over the potatoes. And the nice man at Trader Joe's is going to provide a refund for my trouble. (He was aghast to hear about the instruction trouble.)

It was a learning experience and a nice save.
I can celebrate the disappointment.
It's a good thing.


Kerry said...

HA! No wonder you were offering me turkey advice my dear! Thanks so much. I'll pull out my Joy and get cookin' this weekend! The kale salad sounds divine. I've been craving kale lately... I think I just need a bit more iron (NO hidden meaning there, I swear!) ;)

Vicki said...

The Turkey Quest is what makes the Trader Joe's breast so very disheartening. Maybe I should just try a new one, following my instincts, at 275 degrees?
Whatdaya think.


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