Cycle 3 – Item 359
29 (Sat) December 2012
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family, MtG + NSJ, KIT + AHY + J, CSW, LHS + YYH, HSE, YI + JD
The turkey had come by way of an unexpected favor from reader Bob, proprietor of Fog City International Cafe in Incheon. Amidst a running comment thread on the blog about how ridiculously expensive turkey can be in Korea, he went out and got me one, as a token of thanks for mentioning his restaurant on GMTD – no thanks needed; if anything, I should be grateful. Although I did pay him for it, I can’t recall the dollar amount on the price tag but do remember thinking that the figure was a fraction of what it would’ve cost here on the outside. Delivering the turkey turned out to be a story in itself (see 3.098 Beef Burrito). Thanks, Bob!
This was my first attempt at roasting a whole turkey. Unfortunately, I overcooked it – by several days, by the look of it. I was aware of the general guidelines for cooking times: the bird was 12.8 lbs (5.8 kg), unstuffed, so 4 hours seemed about right. However, I was thrown off by the damn thermometer, a clunky analogue candy thermometer, which indicated a core temperature of barely above 100 F (38 C) at the 4-hour mark (it needed to reach 165 F (74 C)). When I got the same reading 30 minutes later, and again after another 30 minutes, I suspected a malfunction. Just then, literally smacking myself in the forehead, I remembered purchasing a digital meat thermometer back in Hong Kong in anticipation of cooking this very bird. That device registered 180 F (82 C). By that point, the breasts had become turkey jerky.
I’d been waiting for a big group occasion, like my birthday, to share the big bird. I invited the camping crew. Despite the turkey – fortunately, the dark meat wasn’t so bad, when drowned in potatoes and gravy – everyone seemed to enjoy the meal overall (very little was left over).
(See also BOOZE)
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)