We love Thanksgiving and we're already planning for the holiday, the first time in several years that we're going to roast a whole bird. But we won't be having one of those industrial broad-breasted turkeys, bred to have acres of white meat. (See earlier post, "What do people see in white meat?")
We usually go to the Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff a week before the holiday and pick up turkey drum sticks, thighs and wings, plus a bottle of Uncle Dougie's spicy, Chicago-style wing marinade. The turkeys, ducks, quail, geese, and chickens and capons (both up to 8 pounds) are raised on a vegetarian diet without antibiotics. I also like the fresh duck eggs sold there.
This year, we plan to buy a heritage turkey, which was developed in the United States and Europe over hundreds of years. The Narragansett variety sold in Wyckoff will be going for $5.95 a pound (live weight) and the bird we get will weigh 8-10 pounds after gutting and cleaning. Compared to the ungainly, tasteless, broad-breasted white turkey, the Narragansett is an athlete with flavorful meat.
This week, I received a roasting pan large enough to accommodate a 25-pounder. I ordered the rectangular Graniteware black-and-white enameled roaster and cover from Cooking.com.
I plan to roast the turkey with spaghetti, Syrian-style. The bird will be seasoned with salt, allspice, cinnamon and Aleppo pepper and baked in the oven, covered, for about 45 minutes. Then I'll remove the turkey and mix the spaghetti, boiled separately, with bottled sauce and the turkey juices (fat), and season it with allspice and cinnamon. The pan then goes back into the oven, uncovered, until the turkey is done and the pasta has a little crust on top.
I'll probably serve it with a big salad, mixed vegetables, baked or mashed sweet potatoes and a nice red wine, such as malbec from Argentina or pinot noir from California.
Here is the link to the poultry farm's Web site: