Saturday, November 17, 2012

Adventures in Turkey

Not the country, obviously, as that isn't part of my job these days; but instead, the bird.

 This year, I have to work on Thanksgiving, do I decided that for my weekend, I would make a smaller Thanksgiving for just me and the kids. I was spurred on this endeavor by seeing the images of a bacon wrapped turkey on Facebook, and I said to myself: "Why the hell not?"

 Plus, I figured no one else in the family would try something like that, and my kids will eat nearly anything if I wrap it in bacon (note to self, try that with brussel sprouts).

 So I set off to the grocery store to purchase everything I seeded for a Maple-Bourbon turkey adventure.

 This being my first turkey ever, I was unaware that they even made pre-brined turkeys. That said, I purchased one unknowingly.

 Some of you have seen my Facebook post detailing my ideas, which I have since scrapped. Since the turkey is pre-brined, I decided to scrap that altogether, and have decided to go with a wet rub containing the aforementioned flavors.

 The idea as it is forming, goes like this (feel free to imagine a chibi-Aaron going through these steps. I do.)

 1. Thaw the Turkey. That is happening right now, safely in the fridge. It will be moved to a water bath after I get home from work.

 2. Prepare a rub for the turkey. This will consist of maple syrup, bourbon, demarara sugar, less salt than I had thought of before, pepper, garlic, thyme and probably onion. I am envisioning a body scrub type texture.

3. Rub the bird with the rub. Under the skin first, and begin placing bacon under the skin to create a more amazing creature than exists in nature. Then I will massage the remaining rub over the skin lightly.

4. Craft bacon armor for the bird. I will probably let Meghan (my oldest) do this, as she has been questioning me lately about things that can be crafted from bacon.

5. Gird the turkey in bacon armor and stuff with large pieces of vegetables. You need your veggies afterall. I'm making stuffing Stove Top separately, as stuffing outside my realm of focus.

6. Roast. The skin, protected as it is with bacon, should crisp nicely, and the bacon, lovingly basted with the drippings, should be awesome.

7. Awesome? I'm hoping so. If not, the kids will have a good Thanksgiving with their grandparents. So, one way or another they are covered.

8. Excercise. Yep, gonna need to go run after that.

So there is my plan, as it is now. Gonna try this and see how it goes. After all, the cooking process with the family is fun (frustrating) and part of the adventure for me. I'll chronicle it as it happens.

 If anyone has any tips/warnings/predictions of doom, feel free to share.

1 comment:

  1. Just thought I'd pop a comment in here, Aaron. We've made a delicious turkey four our annual Friendsgiving for the past two years in a row (using the wisdom of Alton Brown). I'm now a believer that you can't have a good turkey without brining it.

    Cooking directions for us (sans bacon) are simple:
    -Cook at 500°F for 30 minutes to seal in juices
    -Remove bird as oven temp lowers to 350°F
    -Put bird back in oven now with a digital meat thermometer.
    -Cook until temp read 161°F* (Yes, the 1° matters)
    *You may have to prod about to find lower temperature zones to be sure the bird is truly cooked.

    The result is an awesome bird. Yes, better than any I've had growing up. If you were to adapt this method, I'm not sure how the high temps would affect the bacon. Maybe a test case in in order? I look forward to the result regardless.