Monday, January 11, 2010

Can you grill a turkey?

The answer is yes! Kinda, sorta, maybe. Or you can at least Use the grill in the process. This is what I thus embarked upon last night after my oven broke just as I had the bird all trussed up and no where to go. Yes, it was all prepared and stuffed to the gills, if birds had gills anyway, with aromatics and sage and a little bacon fat on the breast for good measure. Oiled and seasoned, brined and beautiful. What's a girl to do? Nobody had any idea. Except  the 95 year young little lady sitting demurely in her chair reading the local paper. "Well, haven't you a grill?", she queried. Lightning struck my very exhausted brain at that moment and I formulated my plan.

It's the dead of winter. And I do mean Dead. Everything is still crunchy with snow and ice and it has not been above freezing for weeks I think. How was I supposed to even Think of considering the grill, all tucked under it's not-so-cozy looking cover until next season? Well thankfully someone did or we'd have had raw bird and an unhappy cook on our hands!

I had forgotten that I often did pizza on the grill during the summer to keep the heat out of the house. I have this thing called a "hearth kit" which is somewhat like a glorified pizza stone, except a lot bigger, thicker and with sides that come off. It is meant for the house oven which I keep it there a lot of the time, but during the summer I put it on the grill and it acts like a lovely heat sink and will bake nearly anything with amazing accuracy as long as I account for the grill top being so much closer to the food and regulate the heat every so often. 

And so, with hopes high I trudged out into the bitter cold of the evening (because that's how long it took to figure out a solution) and fired up my trusty friend who seemed more than happy to oblige me with rows of dancing blue flames like some sort of miniature chorus line. And I have to admit I had my doubts, but it came off without a hitch. As the night grew colder I had to check on the bird about every 30 minutes to make sure the burners were high enough or not too intense to maintain the 325 degrees suggested by the bird's packaging.

And so, about 4 hours later Mr. Gobbler was ready and we feasted upon him (or her come to think of it), along with the usual turkey dinner fare. Might I add that since I didn't have an oven, I couldn't make "dressing" and I don't care to stuff turkeys because it dries them out often times. However, I have decided that "Stovetop" stuffing is perfectly acceptable when you add some sauteed carrots, onions, celery and dried cranberries which have been reconstituted in sugar water and Applejack. It doesn't replace scratch, to be sure, but it's nothing to sniff at when in a bind.

And so, dinner was saved, thanks to some 95 year old quick thinking and a very handy grill. I imagine you might be able to do much the same with just some brick or stone, but I'm not sure of the health implications so I can't exactly condone doing it that way for sure. But if you get a few pizza stones from the store you can likely whip something up.  And by the way, the turkey is delish and moist and wonderful even cold, I heartily endorse fowl brining to everyone. And sorry, no pictures, I was too tired to remember by the time it was all done.

1 comment:

  1. I had *no* idea that you could grill a turkey in that manner. Will have to keep that in mind when we finally get a grill of our own! Love these stories, I have to live vicariously through your adventures until I am reunited with my kitchen again!