Dave Arnold's Immersion Circulator Turkey


[Photographs: Cooking Issues]

20091118-davearnold2.jpgLeave it to mad scientisty chef Dave Arnold to think, forget the oven, I'm going to prepare my Thanksgiving turkey in a double immersion circulator. Here's how it worked, as explained on the French Culinary Institute's blog Cooking Issues:

He filled a stock pot with duck fat and butter, and jammed the cavity with herbs. He then used two circulators set at 65°C. A hose was attached to one of the circulator's spouts and pushed into the cavity of the bird so that hot fat was not only circulated on the outside of the bird, but also injected into the center. It was circulated for two hours, chilled in a blast freezer, and then packed it up to his mom's house where it was finished off in an oven (obviously a deep fryer was out of the question. Fool me twice...).

The results were good. The only complaint he had was that the inside of the thighs (where the joint attaches to the torso) were too pink and needed more time, so he sliced that meat and finished it in a pan for 20 seconds.

Arnold did run into one little speed bump: the breast was best when prepared at 64°C, whereas the thigh and leg were best between 65 and 66°C, and it's important to keep the whole bird intact. You know, just your average Thanksgiving immersion circulator issue. Arnold is on the case, testing out solutions.

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