Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Veritas Furculam (truth comes from the 'bone)

The wild turkey is one of the largest birds in North America.  If you’ve never seen one you would mostly likely be impressed by their size. A gobbler (boy) can weigh up to 22 pounds and a hen (girl) can get up to 12 pounds. 

Despite their bulk and ungainly form, wild turkeys are pretty good flyers for short distances.  They can reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour and fly up to a mile before setting their wings to glide back to the ground.

Besides being extremely wary, the turkey’s main defense is their incredible sense of sight and hearing.   A turkey can see and identify objects up to 250 yards and, although they don’t have ears per se, they turn their head back and forth to accurately pin point sound.

A rafter of turkeys include a gobbler and as many hens as he can gather.  Turkey’s don’t have a territory.  The rafter will travel in a feeding pattern that is at the whim of the dominant hen.  If the the top chick goes to roost then her second in command takes over.

They spend their days foraging for food like acorns, seeds, small insects and wild berries.  They spend their nights in low branches of trees.

The "beard" that grows from the center of a wild turkey's breast is actually a group of modified feathers that look like hair and can grow up to 10 inches. Beards are most commonly found on gobblers, but can be found on hens.

The turkey has colortechnic morphing abiilities.  They have growths on their throat, a flap that hangs over their beak and a flap of skin under the chin that turn blue and/or red when they are upset or courting . . . Known as the caruncle, snood and wattle respectively.


The forked furcula bone which lies between the breast and neck of a turkey, chicken, or other fowl, is popularly called the wishbone.  It is also called the merrythought and pullybone in some cultures.

The tradition that when two people hold the two sides of the bone and pull it apart, the one who gets the larger part will have a wish granted. It is first dried and then held between the little fingers of two opposing “wishers”. Once the wish has been made the bone is pulled by each person. The wisher who breaks off a larger section of bone is assumed to have their wishes granted.


Turkey Breast with Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

1 Lb Hot Pork Sausage
1 Stick butter
1 onion, chopped
4 Ribs Celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 (8" x 8") pan baked cornbread, crumbled
1 Can chicken broth
Tony Chachere Seasoning
1 (4-6 pound) turkey breast, thawed if frozen
2 Olive oil
1 cup chicken broth

I make my stuffed turkey breast and stuffing all in one pan.  Do whatever works for you.

Melt the butter in large cast iron skillet.  Saute the vegetables but leave them crisp.  

Add the sausage to the pan and brown.  
Add thyme, crumbled cornbread, chicken broth and mix until the cornbread is just moistened.  Heap into a mound in the center of the skillet.

Press down on turkey breast to crack slightly so breast will sit upright. Place over stuffing, pushing stuffing under turkey. Rub skin with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with Tony Chachere Seasoning.  Pour 1 cup chicken broth into pan.

Roast at 325 degrees F for 2-1/2 to 3 hours until meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F. 

Cover and let stand 10 minutes, then slice turkey and serve with stuffing.

No comments:

Post a Comment