Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It Is Called A Food-gasm, Have one.

Thanksgiving is the mother of all food holidays. Yes, yes, it is also about giving thanks, and having your family around you, but it is really more about the roasted or fried poultry delicacy and all the trimmings. We spend so much money on the big day, which is nothing but an eat fest. Not only do you serve a meal with more side dishes than should be legally allowed, you serve a variety of desserts too. Not to mention the left overs. So, With a day full of food, and more food, I try my best to focus my attention on the centerpiece of the day which is the bird. I prefer ham really, but there is something undeniably satisfying about cooking a large bird that not only looks good, but tastes great too. I tend to focus more on the taste, because, the turkey only really looks good for the 10 min before carving while the meat rests.

Yummy , but not so beautiful anymore.

I tend to lean towards tradition with my bird, and do as my mother does. She cooks the turkey in a blush wine, with a bit of salt, and poultry seasoning.  I get creative and made an herb butter spread that I applied to the entire turkey inside and outside the skin, not to mention put onions and garlic in the cavity. Mmm! I like feeling up my turkeys while lathering them in butter in the early morning hours. But all that turkey lovin' aside, lets get to the important subject of what you can do to take your turkey from ordinary, to legendary. Now, I must say, I am just giving ideas here, I haven't actually tried these methods of seasoning myself, but I am sure there are crazy people out there like me, with an extra turkey to go all experimental on.

1. Blackened Turkey. I love blackened anything so I could imagine a whole turkey coated in the Cajun spice of the gods. Inject that sucker with some of the seasoning mixed with butter, and call me over when it is ready!

2. Honey Roasted. Honey is liquid heaven. Drench your celebratory bird in honey and roast that sucker to perfection. I bet a fight breaks out at your table over the skin alone. Post pictures please!

3. Crouching Turkey, Hidden Flavor. Peel a bunch of garlic cloves. Tuck them between the skin of your bird and the meat. Do this all over the entire bird. Salt and pepper your bird, drizzle some olive oil on it, give it a massage, and cook it. When you pull the main attraction from the oven, the cloves should have dissolved, if not push on them and they should disintegrate. If that doesn't work, you fail. Throw the whole thing out and try again tomorrow. (not really)

4. Garbage Pot Turkey. You have the turkey, you have a bunch of stuff in your fridge, and you have NO CLUE what to do with it all. Well, do as I do. Open your fridge, and look around. Pick something you think may work well with Turkey. I open my fridge, I find onion, garlic, butter, beer, apples, and and orange. Score! I take the orange, squeeze the juice in a bowl, set aside. Chop the apples, onion and garlic. Insert inside poultry. Mix a hodge-podge of spices with the butter, and get under that skin. Paint your bird like a Picasso with the orange juice with pulp, sprinkle some seasoning on the outside. Put in pan, pour a beer in the bottom, and set to cook. Finally, don't forget to mention me in your "Cook of the Year" acceptance speech.

I hope I have given you some idea of how to amp up turkey day for you and your guests. No matter how you cook your turkey, or tofurkey this year, above all, have fun, and give thanks that you have all that you have. Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

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