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The Judy Bird

As you might remember from years past, even though we celebrate Thanksgiving at the Martins’, we get our own Thanksgiving turkey. It’s mostly because we want more leftovers, especially Greg’s delicious turkey soup. This year, we ordered our turkey from My Personal Farmers, which delivers farm fresh produce right to your door. I arrived home on Tuesday to find a turkey in my cooler. By Wednesday night, I was giving it the Judy treatment.

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I read about the Judy Bird on the wire from the Los Angeles Times. Judy Rodgers, owner of Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, is know for her amazing roast chicken. So Russ Parsons, food writer for the LA Times, translated that to turkey for us. He said he got 200 e-mails from readers saying it was the best damn turkey they’d ever had.

I ran his article in the Journal News, and I’m trying it at home now. First step? Salt.

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So here’s my bird from My Personal Farmers.

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I am removing the bird.

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It says 13.25 pounds, but I weighed it twice and came up with 12 pounds. The Judy Bird is supposed to be salted in a ratio of 1 tablespoon each 5 pounds of turkey. So I went with 2 1/2 tablespoons, with a little pinch more.

Season inside —

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— and out:

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You basically salt it everywhere, paying special attention to the breast and thighs:

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Then you get out a big-ass bag:

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And insert turkey into said big-ass bag:

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I’m double bagging:

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Ta-dah!

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You leave your turkey in the bag, breast up in the fridge for 3 days. Massage the turkey every day. Here I am massaging before we go out to the OVI for chicken wings.

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I am planning to cook the bird on Sunday. I will let you know how it turns out.

Dry-brined Turkey
From Judy Rodgers via Russ Parsons and the Los Angeles Times.
1 (12- to 16-pound) turkey
Kosher salt
Wash the turkey inside and out, pat it dry and weigh it. Measure 1 tablespoon of salt into a bowl for every 5 pounds the turkey weighs (for a 15 pound turkey, you'd have 3 tablespoons).
Sprinkle the inside of the turkey lightly with salt. Place the turkey on its back and salt the breasts, concentrating the salt in the center, where the meat is thickest. You'll probably use a little more than a tablespoon. It should look liberally seasoned, but not oversalted.
Turn the turkey on one side and sprinkle the entire side with salt, concentrating on the thigh. You should use a little less than a tablespoon. Flip the turkey over and do the same with the opposite side.
Place the turkey in a 2 1/2-gallon sealable plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly. Place the turkey breast-side up in the refrigerator. Chill for 3 days, leaving it in the bag, but turning it and massaging the salt into the skin every day.
Remove the turkey from the bag. There should be no salt visible on the surface and the skin should be moist but not wet. Wipe the turkey dry with a paper towel, place it breast-side up on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.
On the day it is to be cooked, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; put it in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the turkey over so the breast is facing up. It's easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, return the turkey to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees, about 2 3/4 hours total roasting.
Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a warm platter or carving board; tent loosely with foil. Let stand at least 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. Carve and serve.

Total time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Servings: 11 to 15
Each of 15 servings: 564 calories; 77 grams protein; 0 carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 26 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 261 milligrams cholesterol; 856 milligrams sodium.

10:17:00 on 11/26/08 by liz - Category: Recipes

Comments

lbabs wrote:

I'm not quite sure who has the better rack in these pictures.

12/02/08 10:06:32

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