Thursday, November 24, 2016

Things That Didn't Go As Planned

So it's just two of us for Thanksgiving this year, and that means we're in no way we're going to do a whole turkey. I was going to make the turchetta. That turchetta is a fantastic recipe, and is highly recommended, especially if you're fortunate enough to, like me, have access to an immersion circulator.

What I didn't count on is the NYC-area grocers not carrying just turkey breast. We looked at Food Emporium, Fairway and the Amish Market, as well as on Amazon Prime Now and Fresh Direct. None of them had just simple turkey breast; all they had were turkey breasts prepped by their butchers somehow, but none plain.

Kate suggested we do chicken, because there were plenty of those available. I didn't want chicken for Thanksgiving, but the Amish Market had two perfectly serviceable duck breasts, so duck became the poultry du jour.

Unlike most of my recipes, I am not going to give measurements, since I don't have them. I was prepping this on Wednesday right before we went out, so time was a little constrained. The steps will be chronicled, with notes about what could've gone better as well.

  1. Take the duck breasts out of their packaging. So many people neglect this step, but I find it critical since plastics have terrible texture.
  2. Remove the fat layer, but not completely, like I did. Leave about 1/4 of it, because that's a bit critical to proper flavouring.
  3. Flip the duck over, and score the meat deeply, once or twice length-wise and about 4-6 times width-wise. Do not cut all the way through the meat, though, just about 2/3 of the way through the meat.
  4. Into the meat, rub in the following:
    1. Dried orange peels
    2. Dried sage
    3. Dried rosemary
    4. Garlic powder
    5. Salt
    6. Pepper
  5. Put the two breasts together, with more salt in the meat, and tie them together using butcher's twine.
  6. Into the bag it goes, with a bit of olive oil, fresh sage (oops, forgot this part), and a little bit of black truffle oil, and then seal it with a vacuum sealer.
At this point, the entire bag should rest in your fridge overnight.

I then cooked it for 3 hours at 57.5ÂșC in the immersion circulator. Afterwards, I seared the outside in my new carbon skillet using really hot avocado oil.

It was pretty good, according to Kate, but I think it could've been a lot better. I would rate my efforts a C+.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good. Mike's sister would have ended up burning it and we would have gone home and made our turkey anyway.. oh.. that's what we did do.. except this year the turkey wasn't burned... but I think it did vacation in the Sahara... :) Happy Thanksgiving you guys!