Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Turkey for You, Turkey for Me

Since we're all of two days away from the yearly gorgefest known as Thanksgiving, I thought some helpful holiday turkey hints would be appropriate. If you're having ham, I can't help you. If you're having turducken, please tell me you live locally so I can try some.
  • Brine your turkey
If you're having turkey, brine it overnight using this brine recipe or any other brine recipe that catches your fancy. The brining process adds flavor before roasting or frying, making a better-tasting bird.
  • If roasting in an oven, use a roasting pan
I cannot stress this enough. How many times have you been eager to dive into some turkey goodness only to find the breast meat (and just about every other part too) is a huge hunk of turkey jerky? Moisture evaporates in the cooking process, so you need some way to keep as much moisture as possible from escaping. Enter the roasting pan. Make sure it has a cover or else this exercise will have been for naught. If you dig an especially juicy bird, use a roasting bag (available next to the aluminum foil) along with your roasting pan and be prepared for turkey you can cut with a fork.
  • If frying, don't be a moron
Every year you hear about some doofus who managed to flash fry himself or burn his house down. Don't be that doofus.

Invest in some safe equipment, despite the allure of that $60 kit stacked to the rafters at your local store. That kit is $60 for a reason—it's designed cheaply so it can ship cheaply and sell (reasonably) cheaply. Your life isn't cheap. See where you have to screw on the legs? As Adam Savage would say, "There's your problem!" Imagine a partially-stripped screw being included in the kit and it doesn't take a genius to think about four gallons of 200+ degree peanut oil potentially throwing your holiday into the crapper.

The legend that is Alton Brown has assembled a set of directions to make the turkey-frying process safer (it's in PDF format so you'll need Acrobat Reader to view it). Read it, learn it, know it, and then read it again.

Okay, enough with the culinary preaching. Just remember that all it takes is a little preparation to have this:

1 comment:

smacky said...

You know what's sad? Several people in America WILL burn down their houses Thursday, possibly injuring themselves at the same time, because they will attempt to fry a turkey two feet from the back door. On a wooden deck.

Just the law of averages. It's going to happen.

Just not at my house.

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