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Nov 16, 2012 08:10 AM

Roasted steamed turkey from Jacques Pepin

Phaedrus posted a link to the NY Times piece in Food Media/News. I thought I'd link to it here since some of the Hounds on this board may not look at FMN.

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  1. I read that on Wednesday and I'd love to taste it. Even though the steaming process sounds pretty painless, there is no room in my kitchen for a large pot of steaming turkey on Thanksgiving. Maybe a fun experiment with a smaller bird on another, less kitchen-crowded day.

    1. I've tried a similar technique for goose and it did work well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Savour

        I too have done goose this way, with excellent results. I think the recipe is from The Way To Cook.

        1. re: Splendid Spatula

          Yes - Julia Child's wonderful tome "The Way To Cook" has a fabulous recipe for "Steam-Roasted Goose with Port Wine Gravy". It's been our traditional Xmas dinner since the book was first published, & is wonderful.

          However, I'm not interested in doing it with a turkey. Regular roasting has done me oh so very well over the decades, & I'm in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp.

      2. I steam chicken wings to pull the fat out of the skin before roasting them -- wonderfully crispy skin.

        Don't see why it wouldn't work with a whole bird, but I don't have and refuse to buy a pot big enough to try it.

        1. We cook Thanksgiving dinner at my SIL's house, and she has truly terrible ovens. What they seem to do, since they are completely sealed when they're shut, is steam roast. It's a challenge to bake pies, but the turkey comes out really well. When you open the oven door, you get a face full of steam!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: roxlet

            prop the door open just a crack to let some of the moisture escape.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Plus, you can cook and enjoy a sauna at the same time!

          2. I'm trying this tomorrow, but with a boneless breast roast instead of a whole bird. I've got a question though. He says to steam for starters, but I think with 6 cups of water, the turkey will be sitting in the liquid, even on a rack and with a large surface area from the big pot. Should I put in less water, elevate the rack by putting it on top of a foil coil, or just let the bird partly sit in the water?

            7 Replies
            1. re: sasha1

              I would keep it above the water by any means necessary.

              1. re: sasha1

                I think with just a breast roast instead of a whole bird, you would be safe cutting down the amount of water -- you don't have the surface area to steam that you would with a whole bird, so you don't need as much water.

                1. re: sasha1

                  You'll have to let us know how this turns out, because frankly I don't see this method working at all with a boneless breast roast. It's not skinless too, is it?

                  I wouldn't think this was a necessary cooking method at all for a boneless breast. The steaming process is pretty much to ensure more even cooking time between dark & white meat, plus cut down on roasting time in general for a whole large bird. A boneless breast is not only all white meat, but takes practically no time to cook compared to a whole bird.

                  Again - I'll be very interested to hear how this turns out for you.

                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    I'll bet the steaming creates a moister bird. Back in my days of raising and showing pedigreed cats, I boiled a frozen turkey for them every week. I would put it in a big pot, breast side up, fill the pot halfway with water, cover, and boil until the meat fell off the bones, which were soft enough to crush with my fingers. When the breast was done, I would remove one side (which had remained above the liquid) for use in sandwiches, etc. Then I'd poke the other side and the carcass until the remaining meat was submerged. The breast meat I removed was supremely tender and moist.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      We steam a whole chicken with vegetables weekly.

                      We add minced garlic and garden herbes to the steam water. Fresh sprigs of Tarragon, Rosemary, Basil, Sage,Thyme, even Oregano all work well. Just a few.

                      We have steam-cooked Turkey using a stainless steel brater, or roasting pan, which includes a steam tray insert. We finish the bird in the roasting pan under the broiler, on high for 10 minutes, to brown

                      Less time, lower heat setting, and yes the skin is crisp, and the meat is moist and juicy..

                  2. re: sasha1

                    Well, my report is eh. The turkey did not have a crisper skin than usual. The meat was not moister than usual. And it didn't cook particularly quickly either. I think next time I'll stick with roasting. I did dry brine it in salt for about 20 hours before cooking.

                    1. re: sasha1

                      Thanks for the update.

                      I'll continue to stick with steam-roasting for Julia Child's goose only.