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Somehow this glorious garlic gobbler reminds us of an allegorical painting on a baroque ceiling.

Perhaps a few people eat turkey at Thanksgiving solely as a duty, but most of us regard it as a pleasure. Still, as a Roman comedian once observed, no pleasure endures unseasoned by variety. In this spirit, Michael Glassman gives us a bird seasoned by and with variety. His Garlic Gobbler is based on a family recipe he has tinkered with over the years.

Roasted to perfection, this glorious gobbler reminds us of an allegorical painting on a baroque ceiling; borne aloft on a cloud of its own fragrance into a constellation of garlic cloves, it might be titled the Apotheosis of the Turkey.

Don't shy at the quantity of garlic; cooking tames it. The result is moist, tender flesh with an elusive taste and aroma. Garlic Gobbler 1 turkey (18 to 20 lb.); thaw if frozen 1/4 cup minced or pressed garlic (about 25 large cloves) 1 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 medium-size onions, thinly sliced 1/2 cup soy sauce 6 to 8 slices bacon

Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities; reserve for other uses. Pull off and discard lumps of fat, then rinse bird inside and out; pat dry. Mix together the garlic, paprika, and salt.

Ease your hand gently under the skin of the turkey, starting at the neck end, until skin is separated from meat over the entire breast. Work from the other end of the breast also, if necessary, taking care not to tear the skin. Smear garlic mixture between the skin and breast meat inside the breast and body cavities and, if any paste is left, rub it over the skin.

Mix onion slices with half the soy sauce; stuff into turkey cavities. Pull skin over neck cavity; secure to back with a skewer. Place bird, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan (about 11 by 17 in.). Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Remove plastic wrap and cover breast with bacon. Drizzle on remaining soy, then cover breast with a tent of foil. Roast in a 325[deg.] oven until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of breast (not against bone) registers 170[deg.], about 11 minutes a pound if weight includes the giblets and neck (12 minuetes a pound if weight is bird only), or 3-1/4 hours. Move bird to a platter or carving board. If desired, discard bacon and onions. Let turkey stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Another way to vary Thanksgiving tradition is to try a bird besides turkey. Dr. Angelo's Pellegrini of Seattle prescribes a gustatory alternative: game hens subtly flavored and perfumed by herbs. Italian Herb-basted Game Hens 1-1/4 pounds small white onions, about 1-1/4-inch diameter Water 1/2 cup minced shallots 6 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves or chopped fresh rosemary 1/4 cup lightly packed Italian or regular parsley sprigs 2 tablespoon extra-virgin or virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 4 Rock Cornish game hens (about 1-1/2 lb. each); thaw if frozen Salt and pepper Clusters of fresh sage of rosemary leaves

Peel onions put into a 2-1/2-to 3-quart pan; add 2 inches of water. Bring to boiling over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, whirl together until pureed the shallots, garlic, chopped sage, parsley, oil, and vinegar. Remove the giblets and necks from the hens and reserve them for other uses. Rinse hens and pat dry. Sprinkle cavities lightly with salt and pepper. Brush the cavities of the hens with about a third of the shallot mixture.

Divide onions into 4 portions and stuff breast and body cavities of each hen with 1 portion of the onions. Fasten neck skin to back with a skewer.

Place hens, breast up, on a rack in a roasting pan (about 11 by 17 in.). Brush hens all over with the remaining shallot mixture.

Bake, uncovered, in a 375[deg.] oven until skin is golden and leg joint moves easily when leg is jiggled, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer birds to a serving platter. Garnish with clusters of fresh herbs. Serves 4.

After Thanksgiving come turkey salad, turkey sandwiches, turkey Tetrazzini, and the like. What do you do when the palate wearies of such fare, but there is still a bag of turkey scraps to deal with?

You might try summoning a genie from a bottle. The genie is curry powder, and it can transform the scraps into Che Sidney Newell's Curried Turkey Bon Marchie. Served with a number of condiments, it invites diner participation.

Some of our tasters found the sauce a bit mild. Since curry powders range from hot to mild, depending on the blend, you may wish to substitute your own favorite mixture. You can, of course, increase the intensity of the curry by adding more of the powder, but don't go overboard. A little cautious tasting is advised. Curried Turkey Bon Marchie 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 3 tablespoons curry powder 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups milk 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1/3 cup dry sherry 3 to 4 cups bite-size pieces cooked turkey salt Hot cooked rice Assorted condiments (suggestions follow)

Melt butter in a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is limp, about 7 minutes. Add curry powder and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, until bubbly.

Gradually stir in the milk and cook until sauce boils and thickens. Blend in cayenne and sherry. (If done ahead, cool, cover, and chill; to serve, reheat, stirring.) Add turkey and stir until heated through; season with salt.

Serve curry spooned over individual portions of hot cooked rice. Offer a choice of 3 or 4 condiments in separate bowls to add to servings. Makes 4 servings.

Assorted condiments. Choose 3 or 4 of the following; will you'll need 1/3 to 1/2 cup each: chopped salted peanuts, Major Grey chutney, thinly sliced green onions, raisins, crisply cooked and crumbled bacon, sweetened shredded coconut, or chopped hard-cooked egg.

On page 120 of our May 1984 issue, we gave directions for making a barbecue from a 55-gallon steel barrel. Among items called for are a grill, either purchased or made from nongalvanized steel, and a container to hold the charcoal such as an oil drain pan, small portable barbecue, or old plow dish. What may not be clear is that the charcoal container must also be made of nongalvanized metal.
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1984
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