The Real Secret To A Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey
I’d like to skip ahead of the folks who do this kinda thing and talk turkey with you. Listen people, it’s a bird. It’s a simple meal to cook. It’s not that complex. You don’t need seven recipes and a science degree. Seriously. And if you can make a decent chicken, you already know everything you need to know. It makes me insane how (a) everybody has to give it a new trendy “spin” each year to fill their magazines and (b) they like to make it seem so tough to get a nice tender cooked bird. It’s poultry. Not rocket science. You want the real secret to a perfect thanksgiving turkey? Here it is. Free to you, from me. Just promise not to buy any more thanksgiving themed cooking magazines. Promise! It’s the same damn meal every year and has been for over a century - there is no need to change it up!!! That’s not what traditional means. But here it comes…the big secret to your perfect turkey.
Drum roll please…
- Buy a good turkey. Try to get a nice free range one. Like any food, quality makes it better no matter how you cook it.
- If it’s frozen, thaw it out first. Preheat the oven. This is not hard.
- Season it like a chicken. Go ahead. It’s basically a big-*ss chicken anyway.
- Plug in a thermometer - I like the digital ones with an alarm so you can pay even less attention. Turn on the alarm and set it to - Turkey. This is tough stuff.
- Shut up and boil some potatoes, watch tv and play with the kids. The thing will be just fine.
- When it beeps. Take it out. Let it sit while you set the table. Eat it.
Wow. There goes like seven pages of magazine copy. If you want to be a total pain in the butt, pour over some maple syrup or glaze or toss in some special herbs - whatever. But don’t lie about the complexity. A turkey is a bird. Cooking a bird is pretty darn simple to accomplish if you’re not “special.” Stop making it seem like the most difficult thing you do all year. You want stuffing? Make it. But don’t put it in the bird, that’s just asking for sam’n ella or whatever. And don’t mess with the mashed potatoes - you know it makes me nuts. I know. It seems like I’m ranting. But does the whole world need to feed into this insanity of “the trendy turkey that took me years to accomplish” with the latest fad in cookware? No no no no. Put it in the oven. Unless you burn it and you start with lousy quality - it’ll be just fine. And there are people in the world who don’t even have a turkey young lady (or whatever). Just enjoy yourself and stop making such a fantastic fuss over a basic simple and lovely meal. Please. For me. There is nothing super difficult about roasting a big *ss chicken. Sheesh. Now I’m going to go write a six page article on baking the perfect potato. Don’t push me. I’ll do it.
And I know, it’s not so much the meal as the judging by all the relatives. But let it go. Everyone has relatives. Everyone thinks theirs are the worst, the craziest, the smelliest the most embarrassing. I have news for you - and this is almost as simple as the turkey recipe - there are no normal people. And it’s good. That would be boring. Sit back and have a glass of wine, a percocet, some deep breathing spells -whatever gets you through it-and appreciate that without all that dysfunctional breeding, you would not be who you are. And you like you right? If not, please see me after class. It’s just dinner. And you didn’t pick these people to be your family, that’s why they’re so special. If they don’t like your big chicken - well, you know… let’m eat cake.