Saturday, October 8, 2011

Turkey with Portabello Mushrooms

Sous Vide Details: White meat 140F for 3-4 hrs, Dark Meat 176F for 10 hrs

Ingredients - Serves 4-6:
  • 2 Turkey breasts, 2 Turkey legs
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Sprigs of thyme, rosemary and/or savory
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 T butter
  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps
  • Sauce:
    • 1 cups turkey stock (you can use chicken stock too)
    • 1 cup good red wine
    • 1 T champagne vinegar (you can use sherry vinegar)
    • 1 T butter
    • 2 T flour (to make roux)
    • Salt and pepper
  • Your favorite sprinkling herb (basil, oregano, mint, parsley)

One of the benefits of sous viding a turkey is that you cook the white meat and dark meat at two different temperatures and for two different time periods.  According to the literature, this is HOW turkey is meant to be cooked.  And I've been cooking turkey the old fashion way for so long!  So I decided to give it a test and see.

First you simply seasons the turkey legs with some poultry seasoning and salt and pepper and pop them in separate bags.  Add 1 T butter to each bag.  You can optionally add some aromatics like thyme, rosemary, or savory but not a lot!  Sous vide magnifies the aromatics.  Cook at 176F for at least 10 hrs.  That's a long time, but you basically just "set it and forget it!".  The time will break down the collagen and tenderize the dark meat.

Next, need to de-bone the turkey breasts.  Use a sharp small knife, just work around the bones scrapping the meat off of them.  You should be left with two whole breasts.  Season both sides with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and pop them into separate bags as well.  Again, you can optionally add some aromatics.  I add thyme and rosemary to mine.  I love their flavor.  Add 1 T butter to each bag as well.  You cook at 140 for 3 hours.  You should try to time it so that both the breasts and legs finish at the same time.  Again, it's not super critical since you can leave both or either in the water bath longer if necessary.

Pull off the stem of the portobello mushrooms and then slice them into thick pieces.  Heat a saucepan on medium heat and toss the mushrooms in with 1/4 cup turkey stock (or water).  Cook the mushrooms for about 4 minutes until they soften.  Stir them frequently to get an even softening.  Add the rest of the stock, the wine and the champagne vinegar and turn heat down to simmer.  Simmer until liquid is reduced in 1/2, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix the softened butter and flour into a paste (roux) in a small bowl with a fork.  Once the sauce has reduced, mix in the roux and stir to integrate.  The sauce should thicken (that's what roux does!).  You can salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add some chopped herbs of you choice (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley).

When the turkey is ready, pull them out of the bags and pat them dry.  Now, either heat your oven broiler up and pop the breasts and legs into the oven broiler until golden brown, or pop them on the grill or use a kitchen torch (what I did) and give the turkey its just presentation: a golden brown skin tone!  It's funny that the maillard reaction (searing) is purely for presentation and has nothing to do with food doneness!  Oh well, we humans are trained from day one to like "burnt charred" food!

Now, we're ready to plate.  Arrange the mushrooms on a large plate in a pattern that looks nice.  You can slice the breast meat or leave them whole.  Arrange the legs and breat meat around the mushrooms or visa versa!  It's all up to you!  Pour some sauce over the whole dish, sprinkle your favorite herbs and serve it up!  Enjoy!

See, we did!

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