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"Just put it in the oven and go for a walk!"
November 23, 2011 7:27 PM   Subscribe

"Somebody's turkey might come out better and somebody's turkey comes out worse but just remember: it's just a f*cking turkey." Tante Marie offers last-minute, no nonsense advice on how to make a Thanksgiving turkey.

Recipe Here. TL;DR: Just put it in the oven and go for a walk
posted by Deathalicious (80 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
via Jezebel, I'm ashamed to say...
posted by Deathalicious at 7:28 PM on November 23, 2011


You gotta brine that thing.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:29 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Alton Brown method has never failed to deliver a great turkey. Also, it has never failed to scare me to death in the first 30 minutes of roasting.
posted by Argyle at 7:34 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Definitely brine, but other than that, I do think too much is made of the process. I've tried a number of different methods, and they all turned out pretty well. I think more thought actually should be given to the gravy. I like a good gravy.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 7:38 PM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]




She's fun!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:39 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked the video but...

Why would I want to get a turkey recipe from someone who always thinks turkey tastes like crap?
posted by ian1977 at 7:49 PM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Goal is to not make anyone sick. Everything else is really gravy. Tip: don't actually stuff the bird. The open cavity helps the bird cook through better. But do add some of the pan fat off the bird to your oven cooked stuffing.
posted by yesster at 7:51 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's pretty good advice. I've tried all sorts of ways, last year I even followed a recipe that required slathering it in duck fat*, and I'm convinced it's still gonna be a mediocre turkey in the end. The gravy is key. So far the best gravy I've done is from the New Basics Cookbook, where you cook the turkey over some veggies and water in the roasting pan and let it drip, then do the reduction / flour / butter thing in a sauce pan. Best gravy I've ever made and very simple.

Now, if we were to discuss the most important part of Thanksgiving, that being the late night sandwich, things might get ugly. Your favorite turkey sandwich sucks compared to mine. Yes, I will fight you.

But yeah, just throw the fucking thing in the oven. Perfect.

*As expected the skin was nicely browned and crisp, but other than that it didn't seem to add much. But holy fuck I covered one bird with the fat of another bird! That right there was worth it.
posted by bondcliff at 7:56 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


That a juicy, perfectly cooked turkey is difficult for the novice cook to achieve is the biggest myth in all of American cookery. Throw it in the oven, use the Alton Brown method, really can't go wrong - which I have on good authority from a professional restaurant chef publishing his cookbook at Schiel & Denver Book Publishers at the moment.
posted by chesslover at 8:01 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Tip: don't actually stuff the bird.

This is just crazy talk.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:07 PM on November 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


I used to brine it and then air dry it in the fridge for a day before roasting. Ain't worth it. Put the damn bird in the oven. Better yet, forget the turkey and make something that tastes good. Last year we had leg of lamb. I did stuff a turkey breast with some caramelized onion and brie, roasted it along with the lamb, for those who insisted on poultry.
posted by sid at 8:11 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ha. I brined my bird, and it's drying naked in the fridge right now. And I'm getting up at the crack of hideous tomorrow to put it in the smoker.

Once it's in, though, I don't really have to do anything, so...yay!
posted by rtha at 8:14 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Tip: don't actually stuff the bird.

This is just crazy talk.


That's not "just" crazy talk, any more than the Nazis killed "just" tens of millions of people.

It is insane talk. It is awful talk. Not stuffing the bird, at Thanksgiving, technically qualifies a war crime under the Geneva Convention, explicitly comparable to distributing land mines among a civilian population.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:15 PM on November 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Just cook that thing in a plastic bag. It bastes itself, and it falls off the bone. Easiest thing in the world and tastes awesome. Without the bag, it's just too dry for me.
posted by MythMaker at 8:17 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


That was hideous.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:21 PM on November 23, 2011


Godwinned in 13.
posted by Floydd at 8:24 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Put a few sticks of butter in a bowl, cover liberally with fresh cracked black pepper. Whip the two together with a hand mixer. Take butter mixture and, with your hands, stuff it completely under the skin of the bird. Baste periodically. Use the drippings to make a delicious gravy. No plastic bag, no stuffing in the bird...
posted by Jacob G at 8:29 PM on November 23, 2011


Definitely brine, but other than that, I do think too much is made of the process.

Amen. This is exactly right. I've tried a lot of the trendy methods over the years, and the only one I've kept - because it's the only one that makes an appreciable difference for a minimal fuss - is brining. It changes turkey from something dry to something with the texture of moist roast beef. Other than that, totally chill out. It's true that your culinary wits are better spent on the side dishes, where you can have a much bigger impact. I really like turkey - I don't agree with a lot of foodies that it's always awful - but I think that cooking a turkey just attracts BS like nothing else.

Part of this, I think, is that for a lot of people, producing a Thanksgiving dinner is just a huge challenge. How often do most Americans, especially people who aren't already enthusiastic cooks, prepare a multicourse meal centered on a multi-pound roast, meant to satisfy a group with expectations? It's intimidating. And it just seems like there MUST be something harder about it than, well, sticking the fucking turkey in the oven. But there's not, apart from planning and timing backward. Nothing in the meal is hard to make. That's...probably a big reason why these things are the classics.

So, chill.
posted by Miko at 8:34 PM on November 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


In Denver, weather is crappy on Halloween; it's lovely on Thanksgiving. Strange. 12 of the last 15 years we've put the turkey in the Weber grill, and it's a masterpiece. (Indirect cooking, of course. Three or four hours. We put the stuffing in the bird. I don't care what they say...it looks great, tastes great, and no one has died yet.)

Brining is good. Smoke chips are essential. Consult Weber. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, vegans included. I have a fond memory of a turkey-shaped lentil-walnut loaf which we ate after a 24-hour meditation.
posted by kozad at 8:34 PM on November 23, 2011


Just cook that thing in a plastic bag. It bastes itself, and it falls off the bone.

This is what my wife does and damn if it doesn't get her laid.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:40 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is what my wife does and damn if it doesn't get her laid.

*Shrugs, climbs into plastic bag, starts basting away.*
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:41 PM on November 23, 2011 [25 favorites]


Spatchcock. It's the only way to be sure. If you have a /lot/ of charcoal, and it isn't too cold out.
posted by LucretiusJones at 8:45 PM on November 23, 2011


My grandmother's recipe for perfect Thanksgiving turkey was simple:
Roast one goose at 350 degrees for 25 minutes per pound.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:49 PM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is'nt that the shame kintchen of the phoney drinken cook
posted by Edogy at 8:52 PM on November 23, 2011


And if you're going to try deep-frying your turkey, listen to William Shatner. (sponsored by some insurance company)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:22 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tomorrow, I shall cook a spider-turkey. Because I am a genius.
posted by ColdChef at 9:24 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ha. Turkey and thanksgiving.
That reminds me of traveling through the US and having dinner at a restaurant that had big communal tables. Everybody sitting together.
For some reason the menu of the day was turkey and pumpkin pie. And all the americans were going "ooh, isn't this gezellig. Just like thanksgiving". Very happy.
As a european I only tasted food that happened to be rather uneventful. But for all the others it was a social and emotional event through the associations it triggered.
Very cute.
So, america, enjoy your gezellig holiday. :-)


ps they didn't say 'gezellig' obviously. I don't recall how people expressed the sentiment of social enjoyability and cosiness exactly.
posted by joost de vries at 9:31 PM on November 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


My goal this year is to make a really awesome gravy. And, if the turkey itself is also delicious, that's just, well, you know.
posted by box at 9:33 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


kozad: "I have a fond memory of a turkey-shaped lentil-walnut loaf which we ate after a 24-hour meditation."

Surely cooking it would have been a better idea?
posted by Deathalicious at 9:45 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cover the outside in butter and then stick lots of lovely strips of bacon on. That's how 103 year old Granny made it and works for me. Also, bacon.
posted by recklessbrother at 9:55 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there a petition I can sign to be this Person's realative? Like for tomorrow?
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 PM on November 23, 2011


Cover the bird in Bacon strips. 1-2 pounds depending on the turkey. Cook as usual, 20 minutes per pound. The Bacon bastes the turkey for you as he fat melts, and leaves you with crispy Bacon bits to pick off the skin when you carve. It keeps the bits moist and delicious with just an essence of baconiness.

My autocorrect capitalizes Bacon. I think I'm on board.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:03 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Although for trans atlantic points, I have a UK SO who loves turkey cause it's so different and interesting and new and I am remembering the " oh turkey so you couldn't get real meat" thing.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 PM on November 23, 2011


Joost, the foods you were eating were mostly new world foods ... Potatoes squashes, turkey, corn, corn bread, etc. There's some lessons in pre-columbian food and the columbian Exchange right on the table.

And gezellig is the perfect word, I'm looking forward to a very gezellig day tomorrow. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:13 PM on November 23, 2011


PSST! OVER HERE!!

YOU MUST DEEP FRY THE TURKEY! IT'S THE ONLY WAY!
JUST BE VERY CAREFUL!!! YOU'LL NEVER GO BACK TO OVENS AGAIN! SERIOUSLY IT IS SOOOOOO GOOD
posted by not_on_display at 10:13 PM on November 23, 2011


Gezelling is the best idea ever,
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 PM on November 23, 2011


It is insane talk. It is awful talk. Not stuffing the bird, at Thanksgiving, technically qualifies a war crime under the Geneva Convention, explicitly comparable to distributing land mines among a civilian population.

I learned why this week from Marcus Pierre White (via Bill Buford).

Uncooked fat tastes like shit. Rendered fat tastes delicious. You stuff a bird so that it cooks slowly enough to give the fat time to render without the damn thing burning.

That said, Turkey has barely any fat to begin with which is why it tastes like shit however you cook it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:47 PM on November 23, 2011


I still want to see someone besides Martha Stewart attempt the puff pastry covered turkey. I mean, someone in the real world who doesn't have assistant chefs.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:02 PM on November 23, 2011


You don't have to brine that thing. Cooking is simple as hell... do it in the morning, when you wake up, after thawing it the night before.

Take rosemary, a cube of softened butter, and -- if you're up to it -- a little MSG and mix together. MSG isn't that bad for you and 99.5% of your friends, who, given the odds, are far more likely to be allergic to something else.

From the back of the turkey, gently lift up the skin over the breast , the legs, etc. and coat with the rosemary butter mixture. Do this on the back of the turkey too, if you can... put the turkey in a deep roasting pan, and either cover it with a lid or wrap it in extra-wide aluminum foil -- or two sheets of aluminum foil folded together several times in narrow folds, to create an airtight seal that comfortably wraps over the turkey, as opposed to right against its skin. Seriously, when you do this, think "airtight as possible".

Next step is easy... turn the oven on to 325 and stick the turkey in for between 6-10 hours, depending on size. The longer you have to spare, the better. As for all the organs, if you like any of them, put them on the bottom of the turkey pan. I definitely do this with the turkey neck. You know how you slow-cook BBQ brisket on a low temperature and it becomes the most succulent thing ever?! Same thing. The first bird I did like this for 12 hours, and it practically fell apart on me. And I didn't give a damn, because it was sooo damn good.

Depending upon the depth of your roasting pan and the size of your bird, you may have to carefully open it after a couple of hours to make sure all the drippings aren't on the verge of boiling over, draining some -- but not all -- off. The point is that the turkey should basically gently melt away the fats, while cooking with both a gentle heat and with steam.... ideally without becoming a soupy mess.

So, basically, see how your bird is doing right around the 6 hour mark, and decide whether it's starting to get too tender for its own good, or whether it needs more juices for steaming. If it does, you can always reintroduce some of the drippings or some stock, perhaps with a little white wine and some seasonings. This is also a *great* time to add some quartered red potatoes, thickly cut carrots, mushrooms, root veg, etc. to the bottom of the pan, to roast at low temp in the drippings. for another hour or so. Also not a bad time to add wild rice stuffing with the veg above mixed in, right into the center of the bird. Be sure to add some drippings to it!



If your bird is really tender, almost to the point of having meat falling off the bones... it's essentially done. At this point, you have to decide if you want to brown the turkey. It looks nice, but is kinda unnecessary and can dry out the bird a bit. Take the foil off, drain the drippings so it stops steaming, heat your oven up to its highest temperature... and once its there, give your turkey another 15-20 minutes, until the top is browned. For more dramatic browning/ skin crisping, you might want to consider using a simple glaze of your liking with a little brown sugar or honey in it, along with spices. Adding in some orange juice or ginger? Great. Peking duck that thing, if you wish.

What about the stuffing? Well, if you're a breaded stuffing person, precook it on the stove and add it to your bird at the very end. I prefer wild rice stuffing cooked as mentioned above, myself, with the meat of the turkey neck and some of the drippings/homemade gravy added in before serving.

But really, cooking just about any meat cooked low and slow-- sealed tightly -- is going to be pretty damn good. The longer and slower, the better. And if the dark meat starts to fall apart... who cares? Bring on the wine, and what might superficially seem like messy eating will seem enjoyably decadent... and taste damn good with the mashed potatoes, etc.

I disagree slightly with Tante Marie though. Turkey -- especially a tender turkey -- is best when served with a white wine... but not an overly sweet white. Or with a bouncy, not-at-all dry red. But save the bubbly stuff for dessert and after dinner.

Nothing should be dry on Thanksgiving... especially your guests.
posted by markkraft at 11:17 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Now, if we were to discuss the most important part of Thanksgiving, that being the late night sandwich, things might get ugly. Your favorite turkey sandwich sucks compared to mine. Yes, I will fight you.

Bring it. Paste one slice of bread with cranberry sauce. Layer with slices of turkey. Put a slice of provolone on the turkey. Mound some stuffing on top of the cheese. Slather second piece of bread with gravy. Assemble, and toast slowly for several minutes, until the bread is springy, but not too crunchy.

Doing a little dance next to the counter after your first bite is not mandatory, but it is highly encourage. Failing to provide an outlet for the happy happy joy joy can have lethal effects.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:37 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bone the turkey. Or part bone it: remove the backbone, the extra ribs, and the thigh bones at least. The first time may take a while but once you learn how the thing is put together, you can bone a big one in fifteen minutes or less. You can brine it then or not. That thigh meat can be cut away and distributed over the stuffing so that it cooks more quickly (thus ending the big turkey problem of cooking the dark meat without drying out the white meat).You can stuff it, including the empty thigh skins, and truss it so it looks kind of like a squashed turkey. I use bamboo skewers now but a sewn-up turkey is neater. Stick it in a hot hot oven and turn down the heat to 350. Baste it some. Thirty to forty-five minutes, depending on size, before it's done, flip the bird over to brown the underside. If you remove all the bones (except wings and drumsticks) then you can carve it dramatically at the table: wave the knife overhead, emit a samurai scream, and cut that bird right through. Your guests will be amazed! Or frightened. All the bones go to make a great stock that is the base of superb gravy because gravy, stuffing, and crispy skin are what turkey dinners are all about. Bonus: you don't have that damn carcass cluttering the fridge and the entire thing gets eaten (no uneaten thighs dumped in the garbage two weeks later.) I've done two turkeys a year this way for about ten years or so.
posted by CCBC at 1:22 AM on November 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's too late for this year, but save this link for next year: DRY BRINE. I will never cook a bird any other way again. Super easy and makes the best turkey I've ever had.
posted by bink at 1:42 AM on November 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


What CCBC said. It's a challenge the first time, so do a practice run with a chicken to give yourself a head start. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can also take out the leg bones, but it's a lot of work.

Once you have the bird splayed open, line the inside with prosciutto or bacon, then add the stuffing. It gives a nice bit of salt to the turkey and adds flavor and juiciness to the stuffing.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:48 AM on November 24, 2011


Well this stuff is why I always let someone else do the turkey, and I'll do the pies. I just made 2 deep dish pumpkin custard pies, and two sugar-free apple-pear pies. One of the apple-pear pies, by request, was a hand made gluten free pie crust. Oh was that a monumental pain in the ass, and expensive. Took me 3 attempts to get the crust right. Now it's 4:15AM and I'm finally done with the damn pies. I'm exhausted.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:16 AM on November 24, 2011


Better yet, forget the turkey and make something that tastes good.

I can't get on board with this; tradition is important. But your point about turkey is, in general, correct. Yeah, you can do crap to the turkey to make it taste nice. Rub stuff on the outside, brine it, fry it, sacrifice a goat to it, whatever. But on its own merits turkey is the pits. How much better is a nice standing rib roast? So much better.
posted by Justinian at 3:03 AM on November 24, 2011


I'm leaving the country today (turns out flying away from the US on Thanksgiving is astonishingly cheap!) and we didn't have time for a proper Thanksgiving dinner. So the missus and I just cut to the chase and made turkey sandwiches. Poached a turkey breast for 'em last night. We figure we're honoring the part of the holiday that's really important.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:12 AM on November 24, 2011


My mother has always boned the turkey so I am completely on board with this. You can use the bones to make plenty of turkey stock for gravy or anything else, there is more room for (oyster) stuffing, and without bones carving it is a breeze. It doesn't look quite as nice coming out of the oven but smells and tastes great.

And I don't get all the turkey hate I see and hear every year at this time. Turkey may not be the most exotic meat there is, but is very adaptable and if prepared well it is moist and flavorful; if you really want something good, hunt down a wild turkey (the bird, not the booze). They are delicious.

Finally, no thread on turkey cooking is complete without Morton Thompson's Turkey, which is about as far from "just put it in the oven and go for a walk" as possible. I wonder if anyone has tried it in real life and am mystified as to how they even came up with the idea of slathering a bird in herbed wallpaper paste and cooking it until it is black in the first place.
posted by TedW at 4:19 AM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Uncooked fat tastes like shit. Rendered fat tastes delicious. You stuff a bird so that it cooks slowly enough to give the fat time to render without the damn thing burning.

I can see why they say that, but you can get exactly the same effect with longer slower roasting. I don't like stuffing the turkey - instead I put aromatics in the cavity, like apples and onions, which has the same effect as stuffing but adds a nice flavor all its own. For one thing, stuffing is probably my family's favorite part and you just can't get enough of it into the bird. We load it down with stock so you still get the turkey flavor. And this way, all that delicious rendered fat stays in the pan for excellent gravy rather than getting soaked up by stuffing.
posted by Miko at 4:20 AM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I meant to add, for all those turkey haters, I better not catch you cooking anything with boneless skinless chicken breast. Talk about flavorless and dry!

Happy turkey day everyone!
posted by TedW at 4:21 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I better not catch you cooking anything with boneless skinless chicken breast. Talk about flavorless and dry!

sooo true
posted by Miko at 4:22 AM on November 24, 2011


In my family, a relative who shall remain unnamed "roasts" her turkeys in a plastic baking bag. They're tender, it's true, but they're not roasted, they're essentially stewed.

Try to imagine how wet the stuffing is.

Ghastly business.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 4:44 AM on November 24, 2011


Not being a big fan of turkey, I used to roast capon for Thanksgiving. Inevitably what a capon was became a topic of dinner table conversation.
posted by needled at 5:19 AM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I better not catch you cooking anything with boneless skinless chicken breast. Talk about flavorless and dry!"

Not if you cook it right. I cook them on a large skillet all the time, straight from frozen, and they taste great.

Melt two tablespoons of butter, put your frozen breasts on the skillet, sprinkle with cajun spices or herbes de provence, turn temperature down low, cover... and just walk away for 15-20 minutes, until the bottom of the breasts are nicely browned. Flip, add another pat of butter, sprinkle more spices, add in simple frozen veggies around your chicken breasts (I use brocoli, cauliflower, carrots), sprinkle them with spices, add a pat or two of butter to the top of them. Add maybe a half-cup of chicken stock or a fairly good powdered stock -- Knorr works well enough -- cover... walk away another 15-20 minutes. Done. Veggies are very tender and flavorful... taste like roasted veg, straight out of the oven.

Same kind of strategy as the turkey, really. Cook low, use good, flavorful seasonings with butter, and let the low temperatures, the steam, and the fat do their business, with browning, carmelization, and all that entails... and enjoy. Tender, yet browned, full of flavor from the broth and the butter... and it works great over rice, if you want to stretch the meal. It's a damn near effortless thing to cook, too.
posted by markkraft at 5:49 AM on November 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


We do our turkey on a weber smoker every year, that + brine keeps the entire extended family coming back. It keeps the whole operation out of the kitchen, too, which is really handy when cooking sides.
posted by mek at 5:51 AM on November 24, 2011


"They're tender, it's true, but they're not roasted, they're essentially stewed."

I would bet she has her temperatures up a bit high, and that doesn't bother browning the turkey, draining excess drippings, or adding the stuffing at the end, which is a good way to ruin it.

I love tender turkey, but there are reasonable limits...!
posted by markkraft at 5:55 AM on November 24, 2011


Is'nt that the shame kintchen of the phoney drinken cook
posted by Edogy at 10:52 PM on November 23 [+] [!]


Don't be so hard on yourselves!
posted by erikgrande at 7:22 AM on November 24, 2011


Eat something other than turkey for enough years, and you've got your own tradition. I'm Canadian (gasp!) so our Turkey day is long past, but none of us in my family really like Turkey. We are, however, of German heritage, and our home town celebrates Oktoberfest as if we were in competition with all of Germany and determined to win.

So our traditional Thanksgiving dinner is Oktoberfest sausage, saurkraut, fried potatoes, and lots of beer. Way, way better than fussing with a turkey any day.
posted by sandraregina at 7:50 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]




Oh, man, that looks good. Also, I might've gone with 'octo-turkey.'
posted by box at 8:47 AM on November 24, 2011


Wait, is it stuffed with spiders?
posted by box at 8:48 AM on November 24, 2011


I have improved on God's design by adding six more legs. I am a Genius not unlike Steven P. Jobs.
posted by ColdChef at 8:51 AM on November 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


The kitchen of dr. Moreau
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 AM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, man, that looks good. Also, I might've gone with 'octo-turkey.'

Clearly an octo-turkey would have 8 wings.

I will have to try both. For science.
posted by device55 at 9:03 AM on November 24, 2011


Next year? Centurkpede.
posted by ColdChef at 9:06 AM on November 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm a heretic. I'm doing ham. Not enough ovens for bread and side dishes and a turkey. Giant ham going in the grill to warm, then I'll maple glaze it with a blow torch. Any holiday where I get to use a blow torch is a good holiday.
posted by dejah420 at 9:27 AM on November 24, 2011


My mother has always boned the turkey

heh heh heh you said your mom boned the turkey

/12 years old
posted by rtha at 11:44 AM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Its just the two of us, trying not to make such a big deal out of the meal so we have our own tradition of building the meal around what we call Turkey-baked chicken
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:26 PM on November 24, 2011


you can keep the turkey--it tastes like cardboard, anyway--but i would kill to have that kitchen.
posted by msconduct at 5:58 PM on November 24, 2011


ColdChef, do you have any transglutaminase handy for your creation?

(I hate to say it but it might be handy in your other line of work as well)
posted by TedW at 6:21 PM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


The brined, smoked turkey came out so delicious. And beautiful. You can see a picture of it in my Flickr feed.

Hope everyone had a delicious meal, whatever it was.
posted by rtha at 6:33 PM on November 24, 2011


I totally agree with this. The only turkey I ever had that wasn't bone dry (just the way my mom and her sister like it) was at a fancy restaurant. And then Mom complained about it. Really, it's an overrated food and best eaten while smothered in other foods. Go honesty! And swearing!
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:55 PM on November 24, 2011


Tante has been eating card board for ages! Because it's frozen, probably from wallmart...had she bought a free range grain fed hormone free organic turkey, she'd love it.

What a difference!
posted by alicesshoe at 11:00 PM on November 24, 2011


I think this all points to a 2012 MeFi TurkeyOff. We meet in a central hub location, equipped with grills, smokers, brining vats, ovens, and fryers, and we each prepare our best turkey for a side-by-side tasting, with popular vote deciding. That'll settle it once and for all.
posted by Miko at 9:05 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I accept your challenge, Miko, and offer a unique method of cooking turkey that nobody has ever tried before. It's not some wimpy approach like a sous-vide or even an oven. If I can find an adequate support team, I can cook a turkey in millseconds with my new method: explosive compression. I figure I will need to encase the turkey in a steel sphere about 6 feet in diameter with steel walls about 6 inches thick. With proper "explosive lensing" methods as originally used to compress the nuclear core in atomic bombs, I think I can compress the steel sphere from 6 feet down to 3 feet in just microseconds, without rupturing the vessel. As we all know from Boyle's Law, gas temperature increases as the pressure is increased. The reduced volume of the turkey core and gas would cause the temp to rise dramatically.

Alternately, we could use a sculptural method known as "Explosive Forming. You lay a piece of turkey (presumably a good bit like a turkey breast) down on a hard metal surface. You cover it with thick metal foil. Then you cover everything with a thin layer of C4 plastic explosive. When it detonates, the explosion will move from one end of the turkey breast to the other, compressing it under extreme pressure. The pressure is so extreme that even soft objects will leave a clear impression in the solid steel understrate. I am sure that C4, directly applied to the upper surface of a turkey breast, would impart sufficiently high pressures that would cook the turkey meat to at least 165F (for food safety), if any visible bits of turkey can be located after the detonation. So I think the enclosed capsule method would work better.

Of course I think I'll have to do quite a few preparatory experiments. If any kind donors with a firing range and lots of spare C4 would be interested in this culinary challenge, let me know.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:01 PM on November 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why not just use thermite?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:35 PM on November 26, 2011


Sounds like we need asavage for this!
posted by rtha at 10:13 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


You guys need to rethink all these chemicals and expensive containers and just go organic.
posted by TedW at 4:31 AM on November 27, 2011


Some turkey trends yet to catch on:

Spit-roasted turkey
Turkey sous-vide
Turkey in a salt crust
Turkey confit
Turkey kebab or "turkebab"
Solar-oven turkey
Turkey clambake
Jerk turkey
posted by Miko at 5:11 AM on November 27, 2011


Why not just use thermite?

I want to cook the turkey, not incinerate it. My ideas are the exact opposite of sous-vide, I don't want to cook it slowly at low temps, I want to cook it instantly at high pressure that would subside after the blast of high pressure. Consider it a pressure cooker taken to its extreme.

Perhaps there are other devices, even some already in existence, that could apply Boyle's Law to cooking. There must be some sort of scientific apparatus used for imparting very high pressures under laboratory conditions. I'm envisioning a tall, cylindrical chamber with a piston to compress the air.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:11 AM on November 27, 2011


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