Sunday, November 11, 2012

Turkey Mushroom Risotto

I know Thanksgiving day is still two weeks away, but who says you can't cook a turkey until then?  We cut out the backbone, butterflied the bird and put it on the smoker.  Oh, in case you haven't heard, the new word for butterflying poultry is 'spatchcock', crazy right?
Just by removing the backbone, and splaying the bird, a 16 lb turkey cooked in 2 hours, nearly half the time it normally would take.  I think that's great.  Typically, I like to brine the turkey at least 24 hours with some salt, sugar, lemon and orange, but this cooking opportunity  happened quickly.  There was only time for a 6 hour brine in 8 quarts of water with 3/4 cups each of kosher salt and sugar.  Given the short brine time, I was impressed with how moist the finished turkey was.
Here's something else I was impressed with, Turkey Mushroom Risotto, from the November issue of Bon Appetit.

8 cups of turkey stock, chicken broth or water
4 Tb unsalted butter, divided
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups assorted fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced-(used all baby portabellas)
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup shredded leftover turkey meat-(used 2 cups)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan- (used 1 cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Bring stock to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and keep warm.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat until it begins to foam.  Add onion.  Saut√©, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent and just beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes.
Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, and any liquid released has evaporated, 5-7 minutes.
Add rice; stir to coat.  Add 1/2 cup warm stock and stir constantly until liquid is absorbed.  Continue adding stock by 1/2-cupfuls, stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. (It took 30 minutesAdd leftover turkey meat, stir to combine and to warm through, adding a little stock or water if necessary to keep mixture creamy, about 3 minutes.
Stir Parmesan and remaining 1 tablespoon butter into risotto.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Divide among warm bowls.  Garnish with chopped parsley.  What a great way to enjoy leftover turkey.

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