Thompson Turkey

Course : Chicken
Serves: 4
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Preparation / Directions:

Those who have lived in the Seattle area for many years have enjoyed the newspaper columns of man-about-town Emmett Watson. Following is a recipe from one of his most famous columns, The Thompson Turkey. This recipe originated with 1930's newspaperman Morton Thompson. Rub a 16-22-lb. bird inside and out with salt and pepper. In a stew pan put the chopped gizzard, liver, neck and heart, to which add one bay leaf, one tsp. of paprika, 1/2 tsp. of coriander, a clove of garlic, 4 C. of water, and salt to taste. Let this simmer while you go ahead with the dressing. Dice one apple and one orange in a bowl and add to this bowl a large can of crushed pineapple, the grated rind of 1/2 lemon, 1 can of drained water chestnuts, and 3 Tblsp. of chopped preserved ginger. (Editor's note - cut drastically or eliminate ginger.) In another bowl, put 2 tsp. of Colman's mustard, 2 tsp. Caraway seed, 3 tsp. celery seed, 2 tsp. poppy seed, 2-1/2 tsp. oregano, 1 well-crushed tsp. of mace (Ed.'s note - cut down or eliminate the mace), 4-5 finely minced cloves of garlic, 4 cloves minus heads and well-chopped, 1/2 tsp. tumeric, 4 large well-chopped onions, 6 well-chopped stalks of celery, 1/2 tsp. savory and 1 Tblsp. poultry seasoning. Salt to taste. In another bowl, dump three packages of bread crumbs. Add 3/4 pound of ground veal and 1/4 pound of fresh pork, 1 cube of butter and all the fat (first rendered) you can pry loose from the turkey. Mix the contents of each bowl. When each bowl is well-mixed, mix the 3 of them together. And mix well. Mix it until your forearms and wrists ache. Then mix it some more. Now toss it enough so that it isn't any longer a doughy mess. Stuff your turkey, but not too full. Skewer the bird. Turn on your oven full force and let it get red hot. Put your bird breast down on a rack. In a cup, make a paste consisting of the yolks of two eggs, a teaspoon of Colman's mustard, a clove of minced garlic, 1 Tblsp. of onion juice, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and enough sifted flour to make a stiff paste. Take a pastry brush or an ordinary paint brush and stand by. (Ed.'s note - increase the paste by half; you may need it.) Put your bird in the red-hot oven. Let it brown all over. Remove the turkey. Turn your oven down to 325 degrees. Now, while the turkey is sizzling hot, paint it all over with the paste. Put it back in the oven. The paste will set in a few minutes. Drag it out again. Paint every nook and cranny of it once more. Put it back in the oven. Keep doing this until you haven't any more paste left. (Ed.'s note - be sure and have enough paste; see above.) To the giblet-neck-liver-heart gravy that has been simmering, add 1 C. cider. Don't let it cook any more. Stir it well. Keep it warm on top of the stove. This is your basting fluid. Baste the bird every fifteen minutes. That means you will baste it from 12-15 times. Turn it on its back the last half hour. It ought to cook 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours. When you remove it, the turkey will be dead black. You will think, "I've ruined it!" Be calm. Take a tweezer (Ed.'s note - or small tongs) and pry loose the paste coating. It will come off readily. Beneath this burnt, harmless, now worthless shell, the bird will be golden and dark brown, succulent, giddy- making with wild aroma, crisp and crackling. The meat beneath will be wet, juice will spurt from it in tiny fountains high as the handle of the fork plunged into it. You do not have to be a carver to eat this turkey. Speak harshly to it

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