Combi-steam: my new trick

plllogMarch 9, 2012

I've been contemplating the gigantabird. Passover is early this year, and I have a lot of cleaning to do, and thinking about the bird has been making me tired. :) And it's not for a month. So I got this idea that I could steam it! Not that a gigantabird will fit in the the combi-steam. So I bought a gigantabreast half and a normal thigh (being what they had), just to experiment. But, you see, I've just been plain out tired! I was going to play with some kind of seasoning or stuffing under the skin, etc. Then I thought if I just got it in the oven it would be cooked before my first meeting yesterday. But I was not only still tired, I had a headache (from lack of sleep, probably)!

Out came the bottle of black currant cabernet mole sauce (excellent glaze), the shaker of garlic pepper (inc. salt), a little box of sage, and the remnants of the rosemary from last week's duck. Brush brush, shake shake, turn turn, brush brush, shake shake, lay herbs on top of skin. Pop into combi- at settings from clue wheel, with time added for the larger weight. Ding ding. Insert thermometer. Thigh is perfect, put in plate. Breast could use a little more heat. Set another 12 minutes. Remove. Slice thigh while breast rests. Slice breast. Oooh, it's lunch time, throw together salad and serve turkey to all and sundry.

DELICIOUS!! The herbs actually smelled bad as the cooking started, in a leafy kind of way, but the turkey had a delicate flavor of them without the whole effort of lifting the skin and arranging them nicely, and with really no more effort than I use for boneless chicken breasts, I have delicious turkey.

So, comes the gigantaquestion: If I do boneless will it taste as good? I could fit a lot more turkey in the little bitty oven if it didn't have any bones... (I'm thinking I have another experiment coming next week... Meantime, I have turkey to string and freeze for summer salads.)

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Plllog, I can barely even grasp what a 'combi-steam' is, and certainly have no gigantanswers. However I'd be delighted to do some taste-testing! ;)

(When is passover??)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 11:29AM
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First Seder is April 6. :)

What a combi-steam oven is is the most lazy-cook making appliance ever. The less I do to prepare the food, the better. :) I am starting with high quality products, but beyond that, it's just clean, steam and serve. :) Squash (zucchini, pattipan, etc.), for instance, tastes magical. I don't know why it's better than squash steamed by other methods. Maybe it's a bit hotter? But it's the most amazingly delicious stuff. Like the turkey. I've always been a big fan of letting the ingredients speak for themselves, but this is carrying it to extremes. :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 12:42PM
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I'm betting that them bones add some good flavors. Can't imagine eatin' ribs without bones.

But that's me, plllog; maybe you 'n' your magic oven can make this work.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 2:23PM
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How about -- excuse me, this is gross -- but mashing down the carcass? Collapsing all that air? So you could cook it in the oven, perhaps, with bones there?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 3:00PM
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LOL!!! Aliris, one can butterfly, or, if you must, "spatchcock", and get a flattish turkey, without actually mashing. :) If you remove the breastbone, down it goes. For parts however, I don't know if I could mash the ribs enough to make it flat enough to be worthwhile.

Usually, as Chac_Mool said, the bones give flavor. I could never make arroz con pollo without them. I don't know how much they add to the steamed turkey, however.

It's all going to come down to how much vertical room it takes. I suppose I'll just eyeball it... Since this is all about being easier than braising in the big oven, I'll ask the butcher to debone it if it's too big.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Ooooo, turkey galantine!

Love it. That is, as long it's not me doing the deboning.

Pepin's galantine chicken demo

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 12:17AM
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Oooo! Zartemis! That's one of my all time faves!! Long before I had a decent kitchen of my own to cook in, like maybe when I was just out of grad school, I was so in love with that demo, someone gave me the book for a present. It has picture by picture steps with mondo details (this was pre-web). It's not as exciting as slit, slit, turn, hey presto, but very easy to follow.

And I'll be letting the butcher do it to the gigantabird parts, thank you very much. :)

LOVE that combi-steam!!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 12:57AM
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Oh my, now that's gross!

But fascinating too. Why would you want to do that shy of a combi-steam oven?

Thanks for the lesson, zartemis -- gross though it may have been, it was really fun to watch as well.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 4:25AM
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Gross? Now, I used to be vegetarian and still have strong vegetarian sympathies, but it doesn't seem gross to me. And even though I'm a city type, I have killed and dressed 3 chickens. (and I do have photos, but will spare you). I figured, if I wasn't willing to kill them personally, I shouldn't eat them. Now that had some gross parts (especially since they were aged layers and one had disease, so I guess I should say I killed 3 and dressed 2). Deboning an already dressed chicken is a labor intensive, but I don't think it's really any grosser than any other whole chicken prep.

Galantine bird is a very nice prep (even if I can't do it anywhere near as fast as Pepin). As a roast it results in more evenly cooked meat than whole bone-in bird, is visually very nice at the table, and without the bones, very easy for guests to eat.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 9:07PM
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Oh, right! I forgot the more even cooking part! That's a great reason to sacrifice the bones. :) You've decided me.

(Raw poultry altogether looks a little gross, but the more you do to it the less gross it gets... Aliris, what did you find so gross?)

Another thing you can do with the Pepin trick, is use the whole fillet, from wing bone to wing bone, but minus the tenders and legs, as a single piece. It's pretty evenly flat and holds together well. I've even had it fried. :)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 10:47PM
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I guess it was the "popsicle" that did it for me. :)

I'm sure I could get over it. I think I hate it that it's not *more* gross-seeming to me.

I dunno; don't ask for rationality here...

I must say, all trussed up it was so *cute* looking. I spent a year among the French-Canadians of Montreal recently and they had such wonderful-looking meat. All trussed up with interesting things all over it. I don't really do meat or roasts like that but it always looked so attractive! Maybe I could try this....

Again - no need to point out the hypocrisy or inconsistencies in any of my squealing. !

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:30AM
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Do you mean the "lollipops"? That's actually an old time food word, not an invention. It's meant to describe the finished shape, not what it's made of or how one eats it. It's a way to use the middle segment of the wing in a similar manner as the drummet, which increases the wingage for nice appetizers.

They're a pain to do, however, unless you have the quantities involved from commercial experience. Maybe then too, but at least it's faster. :)

Don't worry about the "squealing". :) "Eeew" reactions don't have to be logical...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:09AM
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Ah yeah, whoops. lollipops popsicle; never could tell them apart! (lol how the mind translates in its memory).

It's still gross. or macabre. Using an animal bone to hold a balled up lozange of flopped over and cooked meat while calling attention to its resemblance to a boiled and sekwered sweet-meat? It's pretty wild, you gotta admit...

Not to mention that popping of the bones out of the skin...

I'm not saying I won't do it, mind you ;) I'm not averse to doing gross things, but they're still gross...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:16AM
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Oh, I agree. Nothing grosser than making rumaki. :) Well, probably cleaning an eel might be worse, but I would never ever do that...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 5:39AM
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Oh ... you haven't had your child bitten by one! Makes cleaning it easier. ;)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:54PM
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