UNITED STATES—Have you ever asked yourself what is it about the turkey that just seems to drive everyone crazy when it comes to the Thanksgiving feast? I wish I could give you that answer, but I cannot America. I cannot. Me personally I am NOT a fan of turkey. Why? It tends to be overly dry. Look, I know I am going to hear everyone from upside down to the left and the right say that turkey can be flavorful when done right, but how many people do you know who have successfully cooked a juicy turkey?
Think about that one for a second because I’m sure you’re not going to be able to give me an accurate answer. Someone might have cooked that turkey, but it was not without some shortcomings. For example, it was cooked thoroughly, but it ended up being dry. It was lacking flavor, you had to use gravy, the list goes on and on America. If you are indeed preparing a turkey for the very first time, perhaps throw out that idea and consider another protein for the table.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, the turkey is the staple for so many families, but it can also be a deal breaker for the feast if it’s overcooked, burnt, undercooked or lacks the flavor that you expect. You can look at recipes, watch videos, but the nerves will always get the best of you when it comes to the turkey. This is one food item in my personal opinion where you do indeed need practice to perfect the dish. It is what it is, even if you do not want to hear it.
Preparation becomes another big issue. You cannot purchase a turkey on Tuesday and thing all will be ready by Thursday. Why? That turkey needs time to defrost, and that is a process that you cannot rush or expedite unfortunately. There are indeed some hacks, but at the same time those hacks can create problems if you do NOT know exactly what you are doing America. Think ahead and plan ahead people to ensure those hiccups rather they are minor or small don’t create such a headache that causes more problems down the line.
The turkey can be prepared a number of ways the most common is the oven. With that said, I have known people to smoke their turkey and it can be quite tasty, but that also depends on rather you’re someone who likes a little smoke on your turkey or if you’re someone who can do without it. Personally, a smoked turkey is better than an oven roasted turkey, but not by much in my opinion.
I will admit there is one method of cooking the turkey that has delivered consistent results in my opinion and that is a fried turkey. I recall vividly the one Thanksgiving family feast that we had where the turkey was deep fried. It was the best, juiciest and most flavorful turkey that I have ever eaten in my life America. I mean juicy like I was eating a burger. This bird was not dry and the skin, oh, the crispiness was unlike anything I’ve ever imagined when it comes to turkey skin.
However, deep frying the turkey is no easy feat and you better know what you’re doing or you can have massive problems, like a fry. For starters, you don’t deep fry a turkey inside the home, you do it outside the house, but you have to ensure that bird is patted dry, it CANNOT be wet and you have to watch that turkey that is being fried people. You don’t want it to overcook, undercook or cause a fire.
I think many of you are starting to see my point: cooking a turkey is an art form, one that is NOT as easy as people seem to think it is. It takes time, it takes patience and it takes skill to a level of degree. I guess after writing this column it has become a realization to me that the turkey is indeed a staple for the Thanksgiving feast. It’s all about HOW you cook the turkey that matters most: in the oven, smoked or fried. The options are out there, you just have to decide what is best for your family.
Written By Jason Jones