Let’s Talk Turkey

If there is one dish that I think is impossible to cook, it is turkey. I mean, come on! Look at the size of the bird! No matter what you do, it’s trouble. There is no way to get the whole thing cooked and have it still be moist. But this bird, whether worthy or not, holds a place on our societal dinner table that is sacrosanct. Just try suggesting to a fellow American, as I once made the mistake of doing, that you celebrate Thanksgiving with lobster, fish or steak. I think you will very quickly realize that you have stepped the third rail of American Holiday food!

So we are back to the age-old question of what to do with the sucker. Over the years, I have been adventurous with my turkey prep. I have tried cooking it lots of ways: dry brining, regular brining, straight roasting with oodles of flavored butter stuffed everywhere you can imagine. I must admit, the only thing I have not tried is deep-frying. I would be game for it, but with my luck, I would blow up the neighborhood with the propane set up. That would be bad. Thus, to prevent me being thrown in jail for arson, terrorism, or worse, I have stayed with traditional cooking mechanisms.

By far the best “traditional” recipe for turkey that I have found, the one that makes turkey almost (yes, I said almost and I am sticking with that) delicious, is a recipe that soaks the bird in an Apple Cider Brine. This recipe from Bon Appetit has the salty/sweet thing down! And, it creates a beautiful bird because the sugar from the cider helps to caramelize the skin. The gravy would, according to one of last year’s guests “make a hockey puck taste good.” And, the stuffing is delish- filled with yummy things like apples, sausage and parsnips….yes, I said parsnips. They add a nice bite! So, all in all, if you have to make turkey, this is about as good as it gets.

One note: You need to begin brining 2 days before you serve.

You can find the recipe at:

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