We asked our friends Noah Fecks & Paul Wagtouicz to recreate a Thanksgiving meal from 1947 inspired by the classic food photography of Gourmet Magazine.
14 to 16 pound turkey
You will need:
14 to 16 pound premium turkey
4 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 trussing needle
1 spool cotton butcher string
1 bulb baster and/or basting brush
1 instant read thermometer
2 bunches watercress
2 paper turkey frills
- Dry turkey thoroughly and place turkey breast side down on a folded cloth or paper towel.
- Using a small sharp boning knife, cut a slit along the back spine and peel back the skin.
- Scraping along the bone, cut away 1 side, leaving just the carcass. Repeat on the other side. At this point only a small part of the breast should be connected to the turkey.
- Cut the breast away carefully and set the carcass aside.
- If desired, remove thigh bones using the same scraping method. Be careful not to break the skin or puncture the turkey.
- With a large knife or cleaver, remove the wing tips and the end joints of the turkey legs. Set aside all bones and other parts for stock.
- Massage inside of turkey with 1 tablespoon of salt and half the pepper, and repeat on the outside with remaining salt and pepper.
- Place turkey on a large plate, uncovered, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Once chilled, remove turkey and place on top of large pile of Wild Boar Sausage & Mushroom Stuffing, breast side up.
- Carefully flip turkey over, being careful not to let any stuffing spill out. Place turkey breast side down on a folded cloth or paper towel.
- Using a large needle, sew up the back of the turkey tightly.
- Preheat oven by 325°F.
- Truss turkey 3 or 4 times lengthwise and crosswise to obtain desired shape, and place turkey on a wire rack in a large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet.
- Rub the softened butter all over turkey and place in the center of the oven.
- Baste turkey in its own fat every 30 minutes and roast until the meat’s temperature reads 190°F on the thermometer.
- Place turkey on serving platter, garnish with watercress, and cut away any trussing string.
- With pliers or fingers, remove long tendons from turkey legs, pulling from the cut tips.
- Cover tips with paper turkey frills.
- Cut turkey across its width to serve.
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