Turkey Day. As one who never ate Turkey on Thanksgiving growing up (thanks, Dad!), somewhere in the back of my mind I never really understood what all the fuss was about. As far as my inexperienced self could tell, it was a lot of fuss over an over-sized, under-moist bird. And the concept of eating at 2 or 3 (does nobody appreciate that this means you really do have to get up at 5 to put the damn thing in the oven??) is totally foreign to me.
Enter my experience with my old boss, Rob. After 3 years of eating yummy brined, de-boned, stuffed and trussed Turkey (or 'Turkey in Bondage'), on my first Thanksgiving solo I could not stray from the concept. I was hooked.
So - I ordered a Turkey from the local butcher's ( a real old school butcher's), and brined it overnight in a garbage bag lined 5 gallon bucket (good thing the BF is a contractor and has these things lying around). Getting that puppy in the fridge meant I had to pull out 2 shelves to get it to fit, but these are the things that you do... we were going to host Thanksgiving at ours, but my co-cook, David, has a Kamado in his back yard, and this is what we wanted to cook our bird in, so to his house we went. I was still convinced that de-boning was the way to go (besides, it's really fun in a carnal sort of way). I let David do all the butchery, and I have to again say that for one who has never done that sort of thing before, he is really good! I only showed him a couple of tricks, and like the enthusiastic Canadian that he his, he totally rocked it. I put the Turkey in it's merry bondage, and cinched the hell out of it, as we found out that the thing would not fit on the grill. We decided to hang it from inside the lid instead, and I was cinching to try to make it shorter. Added a bit of cooking time, put came out phenomenal. As I ended up with a 16lb bird instead of a 14 (long story), our timing was off anyway. And we managed to eat by 7 (only 2 hours off of the planned 5pm!!). I also have to add, that if you take our the rib cage, etc, carving the bird is much easier, as you just cut off slices (like if you were serving a pot roast...). That way the man of the house can take his self-proclaimed proper place at the head of the table carving the bird, and you don't get the whole fight over whether or not he knows what he's doing (which often, I have found, they don't).
Good friends, a lot of great food, and free-flowing wine. A good time was had by all. And the Turkey is awesome! Even re-heated with no gravy, it is extremely juicy and yummy, and the left overs are not at all tiresome. I am only slightly pissed that David got all of the bones for soup.... Can't wait until next year.