Love these old kitchen images, dead animals draped over tables or hanging from ceilings. This one ( Library of Congress, public access ) features what seem to be turkeys ready for the oven- or pot?
Every year as the holidays loom we begin to see the BEST, you-have-to-try-this recipes. Remember deep-frying turkeys and basting them with beer? That.
In 1860's cook books ( this one is 1863 ) there are recipes boiled turkeys. As in boil in a big pot of water. It's a whole, different take. Maybe it's good prepared like this but somehow lacks the golden brown, crisp skinned, stuffed and trussed bird we associate with Thanksgiving. Sounds pale and soggy? If anyone has a shot at it, please come back here and let us know how it went?
Draw your turkey, wash it clean, season it with salt, but no pepper. Make a force-meat of some cold veal finely minced, a little grated ham, pepper and salt to the taste ; add also a little grated nut- meg and powdered mace. Fill the crop of the turkey with this force-meat, tie or skewer it well. Dredge flour over it, and wrap it in a napkin. Put it in a large pot with plenty of water which has been salted. Let it boil for about two hours, which will cook it sufficiently, unless it be a very large one.
Take it out of the napkin, place it on a large dish, garnish the edges of the dish with double parsley, and serve with a rich oyster sauce in a tureen.