Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pass the Purple Poultry, Please!

Recently Curt and I went out with some friends. During dinner I told them about this blog, and Nancy—who has produced her own cookbook—shared a super easy recipe with me that she suggested I include here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. It was so simple, she insisted, that I didn’t even need to write anything down.

She was right. It is ridiculously simple. So simple you’ll be able to go shopping for this without a list. I came home and made this the following week. And it was just as delicious as Nancy claimed it would be. I’ve named it the “purple poultry” because there was one tiny detail Nancy left out, and that was that dinner comes out purple ;-)

Here it is, in plenty of time to kitchen-test before Thanksgiving:

Super-moist Turkey

1 Whole Turkey – gizzards, etc. removed
½ bottle red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 can beer
1 can pop (or for you non-Chicagoans – “soda”)
1 stick of butter

Place turkey in roasting pan with the breast facing down. Add all ingredients. Cover tightly with foil and bake (number of hours varies according to size of turkey.)
My turkey was 12 pounds and I baked it at 350 for 2 hours. At the 2 hour mark, it was almost done, so I turned it over and let it brown for about 25 minutes. I served a perfectly moist, and delicious.

This turkey came with a gravy packet which I heated in a saucepan. I added the liver and about 2 cups of the leftover wine/beer/pop liquid and it made for an absolutely fabulous gravy. And lots of it. There was plenty of liquid left. I didn’t have any other use for it this time, but I’m open to suggestions for next time.

Very moist, very tasty turkey. But it’s purple, not brown. You know how we’re not supposed to have too much of the fatty skin? Well, make this turkey and that temptation will fall away ;-)

Norman Rockwell might never have been inspired to paint "Freedom from Want" if Grandma had been serving this bird, but I enjoyed it and I’ll make it again.
Have fun!


My White House Chef Mystery series includes State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef, and Eggsecutive Orders (coming in January). All from Berkley Prime Crime.

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  1. I had to read your post title three times! It's so early in the morning that I told myself "it couldn't read *purple*!) LOL! This recipe sounds right up my alley...it's easy and fun. Thanks!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. I have a turkey breast unthawing in my fridge right now - sounds like a perfect way to cook it. Although I'm wondering if white wine would work. I don't think I could get my kids to eat purple meat!

  3. LOL, Elizabeth! It is fun, and *very* easy.

    Janel - if there's any consolation, it's just the skin that runs purple. The meat inside looks just as normal as ever ;-) But maybe I'll try it with white wine next time!


  4. Purple turkey. Interesting. It could be an interesting centerpiece to an Easter dinner when you don't serve ham. LOL

  5. But, would you serve it in the White House, Julie? (grin)

  6. Julie, purple turkey would appeal to a lot of kids! How funny. I can imagine that it's moist, though. It does sort of make a person wonder who thought to combine wine, beer, and soda and plop a turkey into it!

  7. Julie - this is a really intriguing recipe. Moist is really the trick with turkey meat and this looks like a winner (okay, maybe not for the Norman Rockwell prop, as you've pointed out, LOL, but still...Lovin' the purple)!

    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."
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  8. Thanks, Avery, Krista, and Cleo! And yes, this was one very moist turkey.

    Lesa - I think Ollie might hesitate to serve it at the White House. That is, unless purple was the First Lady's favorite color! LOL


  9. By the way, Avery, sorry I missed your post yesterday (one more college visit took up most of the day), but that coffee cake looks amazing!


  10. I've served green eggs and ham, why not purple turkey and mashed potatoes.