Roast Big Bird
Since we’re debating whether or not to do away with Big Bird, we should have a real understanding of the kind of bird we are actually working with. I consulted an expert on cooking large birds, and this is what the expert had to tell me:
Big Bird meat is a “red meat” similar in color and taste to beef. However, Big Bird is lower in fat per serving compared to chicken and turkey, and much lower in fat and cholesterol than beef. Big Bird meat comes from the legs, thighs, and back. Big Bird does not have breast meat like chicken and turkey. Not much on the wing, either.
Even though Big Bird meat tastes similar to beef, Big Bird does not have fat marbling in the meat like beef. Big Bird does have fat, but it collects outside Big Bird’s muscles and is easily removed during processing. Therefore, the cuts of meat are very lean with very low fat content – ideal for weight watchers who love red meat!
When it comes to cooking Big Bird, remember Big Bird meat is leaner than almost any other meat you will cook. Be conservative with your cooking times to be sure not to over-cook it. Use marinades to hold in the moisture while it cooks. Also, because Big Bird is so lean, you will see a lot less shrinkage during cooking.
Big Bird is also higher in iron than beef so it has a very red color to it, even when it is properly cooked. Don’t compare the color with cooked beef when determining if Big Bird is cooked properly. Big Bird will be a darker red state when done. This is why it is best to use a meat thermometer when cooking Big Bird.
Big Bird should be cooked to a temperature of 150 degrees F for medium. The cooking times for Big Bird are about the same as beef, but keep a close eye on it until you get a used to cooking Big Bird.
Because Big Bird is not considered “domesticated,” your guests that prefer “free range” and “organic” poultry can feel free to indulge in as much Big Bird as they want. A good Big Bird meal is to be enjoyed liberally with friends.
As much as it might be aesthetically pleasing to try to roast an entire Big Bird over hot coals with a can of Fosters shoved up his butt, it’s probably not advisable to try to roast an entire bird on a rotisserie. A Big Bird drumstick is about 35-40 lbs of meat and can feed a dozen people, so bear that in mind when choosing a recipe appropriate for your kitchen. The total Big Bird is about 90-95 lbs of cholesterol-free, beef-like meat.
I would suggest the following recipes to get the most out of Big Bird:
Roast Big Bird
4-5 lb. Big Bird drum roast
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 tbs. course black pepper
4 tbs. olive oil
2 cups raw miniature carrots
1/2 cup parsnips (sliced)
2 cups potato wedges
1/2 cup pearl onions (blanched, skins removed)
shallots (diced fine)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 cups chicken broth
1 can crushed tomatoes (16 oz)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 cups egg noodles (cooked)
Apply a rub made from the onion soup and black pepper. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Put the olive oil in a large oven-ready skillet and sear the meat on all sides. Remove the roast Big Bird from the skillet. Add two tbs. of olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, shallots, parsnips, potatoes and carrots. Cook until the carrots have a sharp orange color and have started to caramelize. Remove vegetables and de-glaze pan with 2 cups of chicken broth. Put the vegetables and parsley back into the pan. Place the roast with the vegetables in the center of the skillet, cover and roast in the oven at 350f for 20 min. per pound of meat. Prepare the egg noodles. Slice across the grain.
Big Bird Meat Loaf
3 lb. Big Bird ground
1/2 cup red wine or 1 can beer
3 tbs. chopped onion
15 oz crushed tomatoes
1/2 green pepper chopped
1 tbs. instant beef bouillon
1/2 tbs. salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Bake uncovered in oven for 90 minutes at 350f slice the other half of the bell pepper and use to arrange on top of the loaf. Place bacon strips on top of the loaf last 10 minutes. If you notice the Big Bird meat getting dry, you can always pour more beer over the top.
With Thanksgiving coming up, there is no reason the whole family can’t enjoy Big Bird with stuffing.
What you’ll need:
1 40 lb Big Bird thigh (plucked)
2 Large White Onions (peeled and halved)
2 sliced Red Delicious Apples (peeled and cored)
1 bulb of garlic peeled (15 cloves)
6 stalks of celery coarse chopped
2 Large Oranges (peeled, seeded and quartered)
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
A very large oven
Preheat oven to 325 degrees (175 C.).
Fillet the Big Bird thigh roast (split and remove bone neatly).
Wash the meat thoroughly inside and out.
Fillet large muscle by cutting almost through.
Drizzle with vegetable oil all over.
Place Onion, Celery, Orange, Apple, Garlic, and seasoned salt in center.
Wrap filling with the filet.
Sew shut with kitchen twine. (fishing line works, too.)
Sprinkle liberally with more seasoned salt.
Place stuffed Big Bird filet in baking/roasting pan lined with foil.
Bake covered for 12 hours.
Broil uncovered for several minutes to brown. Or use a blow torch.
Next week we’ll discuss Snuffaluffagus Burgers, Cookie Monster sweetbreads, and proper wine pairings for Kermit the Frog legs.