Zorra invited us to celebrate Thanksgiving all together, cooking a dish for that special occasion and talking about all our thanks and wishes.
Even though I am Italian and we don't celebrate that special day, Thanksgiving comes in a very special time of the year, at the end of November, when I start to put Christmas decorations all around my house and garden, start to think and plan my/our "thanks, wishes and presents" for Christmas, start to manage my birthday party, just one week before Christmas, when I gather all my dearest friends and prepare for them a huge fruit stuffed turkey!
It's like a tradition, I've been cooking it for over 30 years, so I could never disattend my friends' expectations for it! I should say my friends come so happily to my party thanks to this unforgettable turkey they are used to eat; I can be proud to say they are longing for it all the year through! This, of course, gives me a huge satisfaction and sounds to me now like a familiar Thanksgiving turkey, becoming the most popular dish for my birthday too!
I usually buy the turkey at least one week earlier and freeze it so that when defrosting it will have a natural tenderizing. This due to the fact I cook a huge one, from 15 to 17kilos; if you cook a female, they usually reach 6/7 kilos as maximum, you don't need to freeze it because females are tenderer than males. Freeze it completely clean insiede and outside, but they usually sell them ready to cook.
Make an incision in the back triangle where you see a thin tube, both at the right and left side, and take away the tube and a small yellow fat gland that might give a bitter taste to your turkey (that gland produces fat, the turkey picks it up with his beak and spread it all over his feathers to make them waterproof).
Do throw away, too, excessive fat you might find in the opening area: probably it's not good fat as nowdays most part of turkeys come from breeding farms where they reach considerable weight and size despite their age in such a short time.
Stuffing: peeled apples and pears, dried apricots, prunes, jumbo raisins. The night before put all fruits to marinate in a big bowl with red wine(not necessarily a special one), 2/3 tablespoons of sugar, piecies of cinnamon and some cloves. The day after drain fruits, throw away cinnamon and cloves (they can give a bitter taste) and put all fruits inside the turkey.
Sew carefully with a big needle (upholsterers' needles are perfect!) and a strong yarn, then tie up with kitchen rope as a parcel, crossing legs and fastening wings to the body, putting rosemary twigs: this operation will help us in turning the turkey, especially big ones, and will avoid to damage it.
Put some water and kitchen salt to boil until salt is dissolved. Let it cool and then, using a syringe (better with short but thick needle), do syringe the turkey in all parts: breasts, whips, wings, back. Be careful and do it slowly because it might occur you spread the mixture out of the syringe and all over your face (it happened to me!).
This operation will flavour the turkey inside and keep it soft and not dry at all. Don't be parsimonious with salt syringes: for a big turkey, around 15 kilos, you need 10 syringe of about 2cc. each in the breasts, and as much again in all other parts.
A female of about 6 kilos needs 3 hours in oven, a male of about 12/15 kilos is cooked in 5/6 hours.
I thank all my friends who appreciate and enjoy so much this lovely dish, made the recipe theirs and cook a faboulous turkey themselves on Christmas Day.
I thank my husband and my sons, we are still a great family, supporting each other in good and bad times!
I thank Zorra for her kindness, her super blog and her faboulos ideas about fantastic events she gives us the opportunity to join!
I wish...I don't have any special wish for myself..., I wish my sons will always find the right way in their life!