Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bacon Turkey Quest: Prep day!

 So today was the day to start off this trek to bourbon maple bacon and turkey infused madness. It was time to make good on my ideas. I drew a bath of frigid water, and made sure everything was thawed (still in the packages, to remain safe, and waited till the kids got home.

 After dinner was finished, and all my subsequent trips to the store to procure things I had forgotten were completed, we set out the ingredients and I asked the kids where we should start.

The consensus seemed to be the sugar (demarara, it has a good texture) followed by some rough ground sea salt. I added some thyme, some red pepper, some rough ground black pepper, some onion flakes and a coarsely chopped clove of garlic. And then I tossed in two bay leaves, cause, why not, right?
 I explained to Meg that bay was actually a type of laurel, and historically is believed to have purifying powers, which she though was neat, as she absorbs all bits of trivia.
 It was now time for the wet ingredients. I added some Sriracha to the bowl, just a dash, due to the fact that nothing suffers from having Sriracha added to it. That beautiful, red chili and garlic sauce makes everything it touches better. It's like magic. Then we added a splash of soy sauce. We finished it off with the players we all came to see, the bourbon and the maple syrup, a healthy dose of each.

 I began to stir it together, and Meg cheered me on with the her observations.

 "It kinda looks like vomit."

 "I noticed that. Wet Rubs kinda do."

  "It smells kinda gross too."

 I decided that was a good time to QC my ingredients. At least I knew the bourbon was good. I tasted the rub a few times, added more sugar and salt, adjusting the balance and texture that I wanted, and when I achieved what I was looking for, I decided it was time to heat it a bit, and then let it sit.
 I popped it in the microwave to warm it, and when I got it out, Meg decided to take a deep smell. I was about to warn her about the alcohol cloud that would be coming out of it from heating the bourbon, but the figured it out.

  The kids were fascinated as I separated the skin from the meat. I really believe that Meghan may have been on the right track when she announced to me a few years back that she wanted to get into forensics. She seems to be cut out for it.

 "Dad, when are you gonna open the giblet bag?"
"Is that the membrane you're cutting?"
 "What would it look like if you were doing that to a person?"
 "Would people meat look like that?"
 "Can I see the heart?"
 "Can I poke the liver?"

  Around the questions, repeated handwashings of all involved, and requests of the children to handle organs,
(Logan reminded me of the priest in "The Temple of Doom") the rub was applied under and on top of the skin, and it gave it a nice color. I rubbed it in the body cavity, and glazed the rest of the bird with it, and set those dishes aside. (And washed my hands again.)

Now it was time for the money maker. The spectacle the kids had been waiting to see. I was going to create something, that God deemed too awesome to be part of the natural world, I was going to enhance a Turkey with a "Black Carapace", of sorts, but made of bacon.

 So the surgery commenced, carefully and calmly I applied each strip of smoky pork glory to the bird, deftly sliding it between meat and skin, lubricating my fingers with leftover rub, so as not to throw off the balance.

 Several slices later, I knew it was done when I head the intake of breath from my children. "It's...glorious...," they wept, or they would have, had they not been wondering what I'd do with the leftover bacon from the pack I opened.

feel the freakin glory!

 Now all that was left was to put the bird into the fridge to, well, basically cure overnight, and then tomorrow the cooking would start. It's a promising start.

 The kids are in bed, the giblets and some bacon are simmering for some stock for making gravy tomorrow, and I am making sure my bourbon is still the quality I expect as I write this.

 It's worth noting, that while I love baking, which is technically more of a science, I really love cooking meat. While also a science, it's really more of an art to me. I tend not to measure things. I go by taste. I go by feel.
I like to go until I achieve what the Japanese call, "Umami", which roughly translates to "The taste of happiness and awesome." (citation needed.)

 Tomorrow, the roasting will happen, the suit of bacon armor will be applied, and roast veggies will be applied to the body cavity of the bird. Everything will come up to a safe temperature for a good long time, and glory will commence, or so I hope.

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