We asked our friends Noah Fecks & Paul Wagtouicz to recreate a Thanksgiving meal from 1947 inspired by the classic food photography of Gourmet Magazine.

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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

  1. Dry turkey thoroughly and place turkey breast side down on a folded cloth or paper towel.
  2. Using a small sharp boning knife, cut a slit along the back spine and peel back the skin.
  3. 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.
  4. Cut the breast away carefully and set the carcass aside.
  5. If desired, remove thigh bones using the same scraping method. Be careful not to break the skin or puncture the turkey.
  6. 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.
  7. Massage inside of turkey with 1 tablespoon of salt and half the pepper, and repeat on the outside with remaining salt and pepper.
  8. Place turkey on a large plate, uncovered, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  9. Once chilled, remove turkey and place on top of large pile of Wild Boar Sausage & Mushroom Stuffing, breast side up.
  10. 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.
  11. Using a large needle, sew up the back of the turkey tightly.
  12. Preheat oven by 325°F.
  13. 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.
  14. Rub the softened butter all over turkey and place in the center of the oven.
  15. Baste turkey in its own fat every 30 minutes and roast until the meat’s temperature reads 190°F on the thermometer.
  16. Place turkey on serving platter, garnish with watercress, and cut away any trussing string.
  17. With pliers or fingers, remove long tendons from turkey legs, pulling from the cut tips.
  18. Cover tips with paper turkey frills.
  19. Cut turkey across its width to serve.


Photography by Noah Fecks & Paul Wagtouicz

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