Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cutting Up on Thanksgiving

The Land of "Ahhs": Cut it up right, and your carved turkey will be as beautiful as the whole bird.

Forget about that Norman Rockwell painting with the patriarch waiting to do his manly duty at the Thanksgiving table. As LA Times Food Editor Russ Parsons says, some things are best done in private. And carving a turkey is one of them.

This Thanksgiving, my brother, who flew out from
Buckeye country with his Bonnie bride, worked alone and in private as he cut up the bird. Lucky for me, he had just watched a Food Network segment that recommended removing the two whole breasts and then carving them against the grain. (Alas, table-side carvers can only carve with the grain.) The technique produces uniform-sized slices, a more tender bite, equal sharing of that crispy skin and a presentation that would make Rockwell proud.

This tutorial video from the LA Times shows Russ Parsons carving the bird in the same style that my brother learned from the Food Network. (The video is embedded at the end of this post. Sorry I wasn't able to insert it here.)

Now I just need to figure out a way to lure him out to LA for an al fresco Thanksgiving every year. I think the key may be that "al fresco" part.

Al Fresco Feast: With temps in the low 80s, we opted for outdoor casual instead of Limoges formal.


Cafe Observer said...

gotta remember this for 2010
better late than never

Margaret said...

Boo hoo, and all my leftovers are already gone.

Mary Bergfeld said...

I love the thought of an al fresco Thanksgiving feast. Yours looked wonderful and your brother did an incredible job with the turkey. I hope you had a fantastic day.

SFphotocraft said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SFphotocraft said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

For years our Thanksgiving has been in Palm Springs. We would fancy up the old familiar patio table, use the good china and eat all the traditional foods around the pool.

It's nothing like Thanksgiving growing up in Minnesota. But I do feel very Californian doing it this way.

I am thankful we have 80 degree weather in November and it's possible to have the Thanksgiving feast outside in a garden!

Anonymous said...

Lucky this wind held off for a few days. I was at the stables and La Canada & La Vina are nothing but brown clouds.

Susan C said...

CO, Yea, a lot of good this post does now, huh. I'll have to do a rerun before 2010 T-Day.

Margaret, Leftovers gone the day after Thanksgiving? That's a record.

Mary, It makes me wonder why we never before did an al fresco feast. Hope your day was fantastic too.

SF, I love that you used the good china on the patio. We really need to revel more in this great weather.

AH, Aint it the truth?!? These winds are wicked! I think a turkey carcass blew into our yard.

Mari Mansourian said...

happy thanksgiving deary, hope you enjoyed :)

Carolyn Jung said...

An al fresco Thanksgiving! How beautiful is that! Your feast looks mighty inviting, too. Happy holidays to you. Glad you got to spend it with those you love.

Velva said...

Your Thanksgiving spread looks awesome. Your brother did an awesome job too.
Thansk for sharing your day with your foodie friends.

Anonymous said...

SWEEET................. is spam

I had such low expectations for TG this year that I was surprised at how well it went. Too many Thanks Givings past has taught me not to believe in the Norman Rockwell version. (last year Ramona picked up a spice infused cajon style turkey) the horror of it all.

Whose the 1/2 jaw fellow at the head of your table? just curious

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