French lessons learned for roasting a Thanksgiving turkey

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Cookbook author and Francophile Dorie Greenspan likens the turkeys in France to runway models — “flat-chested and legs that went on forever.” Photo by Mark Weinberg.

Despite all of her time spent in Paris, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan had never spent a Thanksgiving in France. One spring, hoping to share the holiday with French friends, Greenspan scoured the markets for a turkey. Standing in line, other patrons offered their recommendations on cooking times for the small, 12-pound bird. “It looked like no other turkey I had ever had,” she remembers. “It looked like a French runway model — flat-chested and legs that went on forever.” Worried that it wouldn’t fit into her oven, it was revealed that turkeys in France are raised to fit into a French pan in a French oven. At 350º — “voila!”— dinner was served.

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Evan Kleiman