25 November 2007

Excellent New Turkey Recipe

The thing about cooking a turkey is that it's essentially REAL simple. Turn the oven on. Take the bag o' innards out of the turkey. Put the turkey in the oven. Wait a while. Eat it. Try not to let the cook know how dry it is.

Given this, I'm always impressed with great! new! ways! to cook your Thanksgiving turkey! because they're hard to invent.

It's possible, though. I knew of a recipe once that involved coating the turkey with some sort of egg paste, which then burnt black and got peeled off, supposedly revealing juicy delightful turkey meat underneath. I never tried it. And then there was the turkey frying craze of a few years ago, on account of which apparently several American garages got burnt down, which at least gave everybody something to talk about, though if you didn't burn the house down, it's true the turkey was pretty edible.

So I'm happy to report to you an excellent new recipe invented by my brother Jim. He explained it to me, but I didn't write it down, so I might get it wrong, for which I'm very sorry. But it produced EXCELLENT turkey, very moist, tasty, and juicy, and nobody died from it and the house didn't burn down. I think that's as good as it gets, on American Thanksgiving.

Jim's Turkey, Thanksgiving 2007

First, break your oven, so that you don't know what the temperature is. (If it's already broken, all the better.) Preheat the oven -- since you don't really know what its temperature is, it hardly matters what you set it on, though I gather you want it HOT.

Then, worry about whether it's too hot, and put an oven thermometer in. (Make sure it's a broken oven thermometer, though, or the next step won't work.)

Next, discover that the oven thermometer you've put in the broken oven is also broken. Go out and attempt to buy a new one. (It's American Thanksgiving, remember; if you're in America, this is going to take a while, cause nearly all the stores are closed.)

Come home to discover that the house is very smoky, on account of something is burning in the oven. Turn the oven off.

Take the turkey out. Its little plastic temperature gauge will have popped up; this is good, cause those things never work, having been created broken. Leave the turkey on the counter and worry about it -- it's nice and brown, and the plastic gauge says it's done, but IS it done? REALLY?

When your sister gets there, ask her how to tell if the turkey is done. She (if she's me) will tell you that the plastic temperature gauge is useless, and you can try wriggling one of the legs, but really you need to cut into the turkey near the bone to see if it's still pink.

Discover that the turkey is not done. Turn the oven back on, this time at an even lower fake temperature (we still couldn't read the temperature, you understand), and cook the turkey some more. Test it every once in a while. When it's finally done, eat it.

What I like about this recipe is that it's so true to life. We're not the Betty Crocker Oven Bakers over here. You could follow this recipe with a wood stove as well as a broken electric one. It's very versatile.

How this broken oven trick will work with the later mandated Christmas cookies, though, I can't say. Perhaps Jim will try it and tell us how things turn out.


Marjie said...

Yeah, NEVER depend on those pop up things inbedded in the turkey. Ours popped up when the turkey was only in the not broken oven for two hours. No, not done.
But my poor step mother went by that one year. We did attempt to eat the legs (we were trying to be polite) and then decided to put the meat in the microwave cause no one wanted to be sick.

Reya Mellicker said...

I've sampled your cooking - all I can say is YUM. Even in a broken electric oven, with a broken oven thermometer, I believe sincerely you could create gourmet deliciousness.

The people in DC are still in love with deep fried turkeys in spite of the burned down garages. Go figure. The other popular technique is the "brined" turkey. Pickled turkey? OK ... whatever!

Anne Hill said...

Hey, what a nice new color scheme. You've redecorated nicely!

The only thing I would add to your recipe for a delicious Thanksgiving meal is to not eat at your mother's house, who is cooking the turkey because she said she would, but who really ought to be still in bed on account of having the stomach flu. Then you might get home late that night only to find in the morning that you weren't feeling very good, and the weekend would take a tumble from there.

But otherwise the turkey recipe sounds great.

Luna said...

Hi! Thanks for the generous and thoughtful comment on my blog. I actually like long comments.

To make the turkey more moist, I have heard a couple of tricks. One is to bake the turkey on its breast for part of thetime so that the oils from the dark meat trickle down into the white. It works, but it's a hassle to flip the bird (Ha!). The other delicious trick is to blanket the top of the bird with bacon. My sister does this and her turkey is always amazing. And you can, of course, eat the bacon too, which is always nice. I mean, bacon makes just about everything taste better.

Citizen Driven said...

are you going to have any recipes for ham for the holidays? That would be great for the inexperienced cook like me.

“Drink Iron City”

The Witchy Woo said...

Oooh i am so glad I have never tried to make a turkey. i prefer ham.

CarlBrannen said...

I've always thought that instructions to cook something that say "preheat oven to xxx degrees; cook for xxx minutes" are too simplistic to be optimum. Sounds like he browned the outside and then reduced temperature for the inside to catch up.