Hey Appliance Fans,
In case you didn’t realize, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This means two things: either you’re going to make a dry turkey or a juicy bird. Most people aim for the latter, but end up serving something that tastes like drywall. Use all the gravy you want, but there’s no hiding it. In other words, you can put a dress on a pig, but it’s still a pig.
Much to your dismay, Meleagris Gallapavo (let’s call him Mel for short) is not a member of the Russian ice hockey team. Rather, that’s the scientific name we give to the North American Turkey. Our love affair with turkey stretches all the way back to Benjamin Franklin who wanted Mel to be our National bird, not the Bald Eagle:
“I am on this account not displeased that the figure is not known as a Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the truth the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.” -Benjamin Franklin
They sure don’t write like that anymore do they? But I digress, let’s find out how to cook `em!
First and Ten with Mel Starting at His Own 25 Yard Line
Thanksgiving, Turkey, and Football go hand in hand and there are many ways to make Mel delicious, but I’m going to cover just a few ways: Convection Roasting, Traditional Roasting, and Deep Frying.
This is the second fastest way to cook a turkey (deep frying would be number 1) and, in my opinion, produces the best results. The meat comes out nice and juicy and the cooking time can be 10%-30% less than traditional roasting. Always remember that using convection technology eliminates transfer of flavors from one dish to another so feel free to bake a pie at the same time to cut your cooking time even more. I’ll talk about brining Mel in a second, but you don’t have to brine him if you plan to use convection. Find out more about convection roasting a turkey.
Ahhhhh, the time honored tradition of drying out poor Mel, however, there are things we can do to moisten him up. Try brining your turkey first. The hardest part about this process is finding a bucket or pot big enough to hold everything. I once saw Alton Brown use a 5 gallon water cooler to hold the turkey. The only issue with this is making sure that Mel stays cool enough during the brining process. Click here for Alton’s technique.
If brining isn’t your thing, try buttering up Mel. Of course I don’t mean flatter him with compliments. I mean fatten him with compliments. Take a pound of butter and soften it by leaving it out on your counter. Take your favorite herbs and spices (maybe some poultry seasoning, etc.) and mix it into the butter. Next, place your butter mixture into some wax paper and put it in your refrigerator to cool. After it hardens enough to mold it, roll the butter into a tubular shape. Then put the newly shaped butter into the freezer so it can harden even more. Once the tube of butter is firm, cut it into medallions and place these medallions under the skin of the turkey (sans wax paper of course) and throw Mel into the oven to roast. Butter, like bacon, makes everything taste better so how could this possibly be bad!?!? You could also use this technique when convection roasting.
Probably the coolest and the fastest (in some cases less than an hour) way to cook Mel is to deep fry him. It requires some special equipment. DON’T I repeat DON’T fry a turkey anywhere inside or near your house, deck, shed, etc. I’ve found that the best oil to use is peanut oil. It has a much higher smoke point than olive or vegetable oil. Trust me, there is no better smell in the world than the smell of a turkey being cooked in peanut oil. You don’t need to season Mel when you throw him the fryer, but they do make flavor injectors you can experiment with. Perhaps a Cajun seasoning? Yum.
With a little time and love, you can change your family’s perception of the Thanksgiving turkey from a boring, Sahara-like meal into a lush, flavorful, culinary masterpiece. From everyone here at Kieffer’s Appliances, have a safe, happy, and joyous Thanksgiving! Sorry Mel, your time is up…
-The Kieffer’s Guy