Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thanksgiving Chronicles: Part 1 Turkey Tail stock and Pumpkin pie filling

It's Thanksgiving (tomorrow)! The wonderful American celebration of eating one's weight in food!
Anyways, in my family, the cooking started today to maximize stove-top space efficiency.

Turkey Stock:
This is my first time making stock! Hopefully it will turn out well.
Originally, we were going to use turkey necks, but the store only had tails. Raw turkey tails look quite unappetizing, but flavor is flavor. I put the tails on a baking sheet with 4 peeled carrots, 3 not-peeled onions, and 3 stalks of celery.

I roasted all of it for 45 minutes at 450F.

And then flipped over the tails and vegetables to roast them 20 more minutes.

I put everything in a large stockpot half filled with water, making sure to scrape as much flavor as possible off of the baking sheet. I added another celery branch for my mom (she loves celery) as well as some fresh thyme and parsley and about a tablespoon of ground pepper. I only added a little salt because a lot water will evaporate, and so it is safer to add salt once the desired concentration of flavor is achieved.
At 6pm, the stock has been simmering for 5.5 hours. As I am at high altitude, the stock should cook longer because water boils at a lower temperature.

I also made the pumpkin pie filling and crust. The filling is according to Cook's Illustrated recipe, and the crust is my usual pâte brisée.

Pumpkin pie filling:
Cream, milk, eggs, and vanilla

Interestingly, this recipe uses a combination of canned pumpkin and canned "yams" (see my post on sweet potatoes vs. yams). It also cooks both vegetables on the stove with sugar and maple syrup to remove water and caramelize the naturally and unnaturally present sugars.

Then the pumpkin and cream mixtures are combined to form a delicious custard.

I will cook the pie crust tomorrow to save the bottom from sogginess.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all of you!