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March Soup Kitchen, Turkeys, Liquid Smoke

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Third Saturday of the month finds me at the coup kitchen preparing a meal for the homeless. Today we have a bounty of turkeys that should feed those less fortunate. With nine turkeys I set out to prepare them for proper cooking. While most people think of a turkey roasted whole. In the commercial kitchen that is impractical as all parts of a turkey cook at
different temperatures. So they must be broke down and prepared for

When we break a turkey down we are actually cutting its parts into sections that will cook at the same rate. Or that can be panned to cook at the same rate as we do with the turkey back and legs.

I begin by removing the breast cutting along the ribs across at the entrails removal opening forward toward the neck to the breast wish bone.

At this point there are two bones on each side you want to go down through. The knife I am using is a steep angled breaking knife. I purchase them as blanks, no edge, so that I can grind them and sharpen them with a steep V point angle so they can break birds and bones apart.

I remove the breast and then relieve the wings from the carcass.
Panning the parts as I go on three separate sheet pans prepared for cooking.

The pans start to look like turkey parts in a kitchen made to put lots of
food on the table. With nine turkeys I will section the drumette of the
wing from the flight length of the wing. This gives me 36 turkey pieces to feed just for starters.

I have seasoned the wings and they are ready for the roaster, when removed I will make the final separation cuts that will make the 36 pieces out of the 18 wings. Mean while I am adding lots of breasts to the pan and leg and back sections. These three section will all cook to perfection at different rates of speed. So by separating we are enabling all parts of the turkey to be pulled at the proper finished cooking temperature.

If you stuff the backs of the turkeys under the leg and thighs of the next
birds and turn the last set around all the meat will cook at the same speed. The breasts are arranged to have the points interlock so that all the meat will cook at the same speed.

Looking around I find a couple boxes of peppers. I have had an idea
about stuffing peppers with a smoked cream corn and roasted green chili filling. Using egg yolks to bind it into a nice custard filling. First halving and seeding them, then filling them.

I want smoke in the corn custard filling. But I don't have a smoker in
the soup kitchen. And I am not going to go home to get mine for this
dinner. So we are going to use a product that I use frequently at the soup kitchen and that is often scoffed at by the diehard smokers from the comfort of the backyard. But when feeding a lot and you don't know what you will have for ingredients, this ingredient offers a method of hickory smoke without the long long times required to produce it from scratch. I speak of Liquid Smoke.

This product has produced many an interesting side at the soup kitchen.
While I would rather smoke things from scratch I sure have found cooking with this product a cool way to make the mundane interesting with its addition to different dishes. Often forgotten, or not used out of some illogical ego trip rant by someone else, this stuff is as good as salt and pepper when you don't have access to a smoker or the time to do the long methods required.

The corn filling is composed of a case of donated creamed corn, two cans of pimento, four pounds of roasted Anahiem green chilles, 1/8 cup of liquid smoke, and 4 pounds of white corn. This was balanced with salt and pepper and a little cummin. This then had 12 egg yolks added to it prior to filling the bell peppers. The bell peppers where prepared with salt and pepper.

The look nice roasting. On to the other sides. I have a lot of
potatoes and celery and onions today. So I will make up a Penna. Dutch
Potato Filling to give the homeless clients something that will stay with them a while in the way of a heavy starch.

The taters and onions are getting finished up and get to work on the celery.

Of course some of the onions and celery are destined for my stock pots.
What would a turkey feed be without a good giblet gravy. And so I continue to work the stock pot while I work to finish getting turkeys ready, roasted and sliced.

While stock pots are reducing and peppers are roasting, the turkey is
starting to hit the finishing point. First out is always the wings.

The rest of the turkey parts are moving closer to finished. And a
surprise comes through the door a case of asparagus. I put one of the
student volunteers on prep so they can be served with this meal on top the potatoes. It will only be three or four pieces for each client. But
it will be fresh.

Potatoes are cooking down, they will be mashed, have the butter, cream, salt, pepper, and celery and onions added to them. Along with a couple gallons of bread cubes. 36 eggs and folded them into the mash potatoes, then baked off to 155 F. This makes a really nice potato offering.

As we get close to service time I have the turkeys coming out of the oven and begin the slicing and panning required so the service line can offer the food to the clients.

The meal came together beautifully. The students had three green salads put together, two fruit salads put together, they built to sheet pans of
chocolate cake together and had it all ready the same time we put the turkeys out. They are getting so good at this it is almost a shame the school year will end and I will not have a crew til next September in less than two months.

They are fun, they have fun, they like to help cook, now they can cook, and all in 8 months of volunteering. I really like this group of young people, it give me hope!

'til we talk again, take a look around, some of these young people really
have it together.

We fed 133 plus 70 seconds fillings, not bad for four hours work.

Chef Bob Ballantyne
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering
Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
post #2 of 19
I really admire what you do for those that have less then us. You have inspired me to contact a local place and volunter once a month to help
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
And that is why I write these up!!! Thank Youpoints.gif
post #4 of 19
Nice, Bob, thanks for helping people who are down on their luck, you never know when you may be there in these times.

Thanks for sharing.points.gif
post #5 of 19
Good job, makin us proud!
post #6 of 19


No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #7 of 19
Very Good Job.
post #8 of 19
Now thats a great thing you are doing there Bob. It just makes you feel good to help those who have fallin on some bad luck. I know we have in the past and maybe we should do it more often.points.gif
post #9 of 19
certainly earned points PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #10 of 19
Well, you've done it once again, Bob! I think of you every time I drive by the kitchen. That was certainly an excellent looking meal. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #11 of 19
I always enjoy reading these. Keep up the amazing work!
post #12 of 19
Well now if that doesn't warm your heart then nuthin will. Excellent!points.gif
post #13 of 19

Great Job

That's a great thing you're doing, we are living through some down times in this country, so bless you for your work, points.gif
post #14 of 19
Great job once again! Take a passion and turn it into something good for those who deserve it. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #15 of 19
Great work Bob - My wife and I get to experience some of the same joy as you do. We volunteer and teach a gourmet cooking class to the local 4H kids. We have 9 - 12 kids for 6 months and it is very rewarding. Since I have seen your posts, we have been looking for a commercial kitchen so we can try to do some community dinners with the kids. I have yet to find anyone who will accept us (liability) that has a commercial kitchen but am still trying. Keep up the great work it helps to inspire others
post #16 of 19
Thanks for all you do!

Take care, have fun, and please continue to do good!!


post #17 of 19
Awesome looking pics, food looks great! We all appreciate learning and you taught us a few things.

It is more blessed to give than receive.
We reap what we sow. Bob you will reap not only here in this life, but in the everlasting too. Well done brother.
post #18 of 19
You have many points in your Karma Bank. Not only do you offer solace to the homeless through these meals but you have also taught life skills to your young volunteers. They are the future and it certainly seems to be good hands. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #19 of 19
Bob you are the best

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