Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Turkeys are also members of the sedentary pheasant family. Meleagris gallopavo descended from ancestors that once ranged through North America and Asia. The modern colossal turkey dates from 1927–1930, when a breeder in British Columbia developed a 40 lb/18 kg bird with oversized flight and thigh muscles, and breeders in the U.S. northwest used his stock to perfect the Broad-Breasted Bronze. The little-used breast muscle is tender, mild, and lean; the leg muscles that support the breast are well-exercised, dark, and flavorful.