Turns out I have at least one reader. Thanks to read J.F. for cornering me and pulling me aside at a cocktail party recently and asking, “well? How was the turkey? What was that cooking method, again?”
Lucky me, I got to bend someone’s ear at a party about how brilliant the spatchcock turkey cooking method worked.
Of course, the entire happiness of Thanksgiving was more than just a well-cooked bird. Though I didn’t mind the random comments like, “I never eat turkey, but this was amazing,” or, “I don’t even like turkey, but I went back for seconds,” and, “I’m not a big white meat guy, but, wow.”
The best part was nobody having to worry about anything. I’ve spatchcock cooked four turkeys on three separate occasions and what I’m finding is …I would have to try really hard to mess up a turkey using this method.
The turkey was perfect. I cooked two turkeys. A dozen crockpots and slow cookers lined my countertop. Four or five pies were chillin’ in the garage. The weather was just nice enough that I fired up the heaters on the deck and people sat outside. Wine got drank. Beer got drank. Someone wanted, “just a little bourbon and an ice cube,” and ended up having 4 of those.
I made the best gravy I’ve ever had. How? Well, I did a test-run turkey cook on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I lined the roaster pan with carrots, celery, diced onions, a sliced apple (this is the secret), and then 1 cup water. When the cook was done, I took all the pan drippings, poured it into a container and let it cool in the fridge until the fat rose to the top. I scooped off a little fat (set it aside). Removed all the other fat (threw it into the brush outside for critter). Then made a roux (equal parts butter and flour). Mixed the roux, bit of turkey fat, and my stock and froze it. On Thanksgiving I thawed it in my mini Crockpot and …whoa. It was just PERFECT. And I don’t usually like gravy.
I like hosting Thanksgiving. I like that my Thanksgiving guest list is growing. I like that my wife and I barely argued during set-up and clean-up (we’ve got a “system”, now). My kids helped. I liked looking at the “kids table” where the “kids” are now 19, 18, 18, 17, 16, 16, and 14.
Some ways I think I can make future years better . . . lighted tent outside on my deck. Play a big, group game after dinner. Write a better toast/prayer.
Or maybe I’m overthinking it. It’s probably enough just to have everyone together, eating, drinking, and being merry and happy together for as long as we can be togther.
Don’t worry …next Blog entry will be about my Christmas Wish List – I’m still making some updates.
Thanks for reading.