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Turkey Redux

This Christmas, I took inspiration from from Judy Roger's Zuni Cafe Cookbook and made her Zuni Roast Chicken.

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I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t subject my skeptical family to the wonders of goose on Christmas, not when I’d been asked more than two or three times, “So we’re not really having  goose for Christmas, are we?” I wanted goose; they clearly didn’t.

So we had turkey, which was a good thing, since we didn’t make one for Thanksgiving. And we kept it simple, taking inspiration from Judy Rodgers’s amazingly simple, and amazingly delicious “Zuni Roast Chicken,” named after her legendary restaurant in San Francisco. It’s kind of astounding what some salt and pepper and a few days in the fridge can do: a beautifully browned, crisp-skinned turkey. With gravy, stuffing (in the bird and out), steamed carrots, sauteed brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese (for the vegetarian at the table), it was a meal to remember. But me, I was excited about the possibility of turkey and stuffing sandwiches.

The remains of our day yielded excellent sandwiches, but that wasn’t all, not by a long shot. It’s been four days and we’re on leftover number four, no boredom in sight. There was wild rice and turkey casserole (a favorite from the the old Gourmet cookbooks, circa, 1970); turkey cakes (from a 2002 Fine Cooking story by Jennifer McLagan) with roasted tomato salsa; and tonight, turkey soup (my husband’s specialty).

I won’t be sorry to see it go. Really, I won’t.


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  • AndieReid | 12/30/2009

    We were all OVERJOYED this year that my mother-in-law didn't make her traditional goose. She's been doing it for probably six years now and none of us like it. She's ordinarily an excellent cook, but every goose she's cooked has been tiny, tough, and greasy. We got our standing rib roast back this year and were thrilled. Unfortunately, I think she's determined to go back to goose next year, so I may be hosting an additional prime rib dinner. :)

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