Mastering the Art of Julia Child category

Master Class #45 | 12:48 pm | 28 November 2006

turkey casserole from Julia ChildJulia Child and Company
Turkey Casserole, pp. 217
turkey gratineéd in white wine sauce with mushrooms and onions

The word “casserole” has been severely devalued — say it, and the first thing I think of is either that narsty canned green-beans-and-soup thing that gets dragged out to holiday tables, or tuna hot dish; to me, it pretty much means bland, over-salted, icky gunk, probably with a layer of broken potato chips on the top. Call this recipe a casserole, call it shit-on-a-shingle; if you’re serving this, just don’t call me late for dinner!

Mr. Dynagirl usually gets a Thanksgiving turkey from work. Seeing as how we usually aren’t hosting the holidays yet, our moms pick out their own turkeys, and if I were to get a turkey to roast I’d go find an heirloom breed (or at least a Diestel), the poor thing languishes in the downstairs freezer for lack of a better idea of what to do with it. I finally figured I’d better do something with it, if only because I was going to be needing the freezer space for the cassoulet.

I’m not sure if this is originally a French thing, or if she just worked this up in the familiar idiom. When the turkey finally thawed, I cut it up into pieces (reserving the breast to the freezer for smoking later) and simmered it with the usual stock accoutrements. Mushrooms and onions are worked up on their own. (I think! I’ll look it up and edit this later.) Once the meat is cooked, the remaining stock is cooked down with wine and cream, and the casserole is topped with grated Swiss cheese. Even without the breast meat, this twelve-pound turkey yielded two pie plates and three bread pans of the most delicious, most luscious, most fucking awesome “casserole” you’ve ever had.

It would be devilish fun to make this for that kind of potluck event where everyone trots out their same nasty hotdishes; they’d get to this one, and they’d be p0wn3d! But I’m not competitive like that. No siree, Bob… hrm.

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