Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Turkish Delight

Tiffany, Yortu, Bob, De Sappeared and De Coy (from left to
right), in happier times.
Yortu was arrested at the boundary fence some months ago, on suspicion of child smuggling. Yortu and the two turkey chicks found in her possession - De Sappeared and De Coy - were remanded in custody, without bail.

Yortu's cellmate Tiffany was not your average jailbird. Tiffany was a young white turkey who, despite a sheltered upbringing in an affluent neighborhood, had fallen in with the wrong crowd, and been arrested for assaulting a blind cat.

Proud Dad Bob with Yortu, De Sappeared and De Coy.
The duo - Yortu, a runaway with connections to the Guinea Fowl Gang, and Tiffany, a misguided youngster from a well-to-do family - became unlikely friends. De Sappeared and De Coy took an instant liking to 'Aunty Tiff'. When Bob, a proud father once again, came to meet his two offspring for the first time, he too took an instant liking to Tiff.

The rest was history, but between misguided Aunty Tiff, mischievous Yortu, and love-stricken (and often broken-hearted) Bob, De Coy and De Sappeared grew up on the wrong side of the fence, falling fowl of the law and becoming prospects in the Guinea Fowl Gang at an early age. Things took a turn for the worse when De Sappeared was hauled down to the Stytion for a grilling over his involvement in the murder of Detective Inspector P Igg.

De Sappeared has not been seen since he entered the Sytion on that fateful Saturday. It is rumored that he gave crucial evidence against the alleged killer in exchange for immunity from prosecution, and was subsequently given a new identity and put into the Witness Protection Scheme. Although nobody knows for sure, sources say De Sappeared now lives in the farmhouse kitchen, under the alias of De Licious.

Manuka-smoked turkey

One small turkey (De Sappeared was about 4 months old and weighed 5lb)

Pluck and gut the turkey, but do not skin it - the skin helps to keep the meat moist. Gently loosen the breast meat from the skin with your hands to allow maximum connection with the brine. For added convenience, split your turkey in half.


4 L hot water
1 C non-iodized salt
1.5 C brown sugar
4 t Colourquik (Prague Powder #1)

Dissolve dry ingredients in the water, and allow to cool. Use a non-reactive container - plastic works well. Once the brine has cooled, add the turkey, and leave in the fridge. De Sappeared was brined for 5 to 6 hours (roughly one hour per pound of turkey), but Mr Farmer thinks he will brine De Coy for longer.

Remove from the brine - there is no need to rinse. We rinsed one half of De Sappeared, and did not rinse the other. The un-rinsed half is more flavorsome. Leave the brined turkey in a plastic bag in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, prepare your smoker with manuka wood chips, and hang your turkey in the smoker for a good 6 hours. Once smoked, put the turkey in a roasting pan with a little water in the bottom (just under a centimeter - enough to stop the meat from drying out), and roast uncovered for two hours on a low heat, about 150°C.

Smoked turkey is similar to smoked chicken - if you can stop yourself from eating it straight off the bone, it goes well in sandwiches, salads, quiches and pizzas.

For the record, sources are correct - De Sappeared really is De Licious.

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