In America, roast turkey is usually considered as a holiday dish,
being served most frequently in the homes on Thanksgiving day.
However, at times when the price is moderate, it is not an extravagance to serve roast turkey for other occasions.
Roasting is practically the only way in which turkey is prepared in the usual household, and it is by far the best method of preparation. Occasionally, however, a very tough turkey is steamed before roasting in order to make it sufficiently tender.
The preparation of roast turkey does not differ materially from the method given for the preparation of roast chicken. After the turkey is cleaned, drawn, and prepared according to the directions previously
given, rub the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Then stuff with any desirable stuffing, filling the cavity and also the space under the skin of the neck where the crop was removed.
Then sew up the opening, draw the skin over the neck and tie it, and truss the turkey by forcing the tip of each wing back of the first wing joint in a triangular shape and tying both ends of the legs to the tail. When thus made ready, place the turkey in the roasting pan so that the back rests on the pan and the legs are on top.
Then dredge with flour, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in a hot oven. When its surface is well browned, reduce the heat and baste every 15 minutes until the turkey is cooked. This will
usually require about 3 hours, depending, of course, on the size of the bird. For basting, melt 4 tablespoonfuls of butter or bacon fat in 1/2 cupful of boiling water.
Pour this into the roasting pan. Add water when this evaporates, and keep a sufficient amount for basting. Turn the turkey several times during the roasting, so that the sides and back, as well as the breast, will be browned. When the turkey can be easily
pierced with a fork, remove it from the roasting pan, cut the strings and pull them out, place on a platter, garnish, and serve. Gravy to be served with roast turkey may be made in the manner mentioned for making gravy to be served with fried chicken.
56. ROAST DUCK.
While young duck is often broiled, the usual method of preparing this kind of poultry is by roasting; in fact, roasting is an excellent way in which to cook duck that is between the broiling age and full maturity.
Duck is roasted in practically the same way as chicken or turkey. In the case of a young duck, or spring duck, however, stuffing is not used. After it is drawn and cleaned, truss it by folding back the
wings and tying the ends of the legs to the tail, so as to give it a good appearance when served.
Season with salt and pepper and dredge with flour, and, over the breast, to prevent it from burning, place strips of bacon or salt pork. When thus made ready, put the duck in a roasting pan, pour in 1/2 cupful of water, and cook it in a hot oven until it is very tender, basting it about every 15 minutes during the roasting.
About 15 minutes before the roasting is done, remove the strips of bacon or pork, so as to permit the breast underneath them to brown. Serve on a platter with a garnish. Make gravy if desired.
In the case of an old duck, proceed as for roasting chicken or turkey; that is, draw, clean, stuff, and truss it. In addition, place strips of bacon or salt pork over its breast. Place it in a roasting pan, pour 1/2 cupful of water into the pan, and put it in a hot oven. During the roasting baste the duck every 15 minutes; also, as in roasting a young duck, remove the bacon or salt pork in plenty of time to permit the part underneath to brown.
When the surface is well browned and the meat may be easily pierced with a fork, place the duck on a platter, remove the strings used to sew it up, garnish, and serve. Make gravy if desired.