I’ve been concerned lately that I might have to rely on cooking my Thanksgiving turkey the lame, crappy way. You know, where you stupidly put a little butter under the skin, slap some bacon across the breast, pinch tin foil on the wings and roast until it hits 150 degrees, hauling it out of the oven and letting rise up to 160 before carving?
I mean, it’s so boring and easy and delicious that way, and I can spend time with my family while it cooks, HOW AWFUL. If only there were a globally respected newspaper that has won 108 Pulitzer prizes for compelling turkey recipes* to help me out here. Oh, HELLO, NEW YORK TIMES:
The first thing you have to do, if you want to cook a Thanksgiving turkey the way Jacques Pépin thinks you ought to cook it, is to reach way back into your kitchen cabinet and haul out the sort of caldron you might use to steam lobsters. Next, adjust your expectations. We understand if your first instinct is to resist. But proceeding with his recipe will yield a bird with an incomparable balance of crispness and moistness; we’re talking about white meat so moist that it stays tender even after a few days encased in Tupperware in the fridge. So, yes, you’re reading this right: Jacques Pépin wants you to steam your turkey.
Oh, for Christ’s sake.
Yeah, sure. By all means, America- let’s all STEAM the turkey this year. No, we’re not brining it, deep-frying or stuffing like seven other animals inside it — that’s yesterday’s news. This year, we’re going to steam it, because that’s what Jacques Pépin would do. Or hey, you know what? I have a better idea, let’s just fly the family down to Saudi Arabia, and we’ll leave the raw turkey in a hot car for a couple of days, with the windows rolled up. Oooh — or we could impale a still-living turkey with a flaming spear, and as it slowly cooks internally while still alive, we can choke it to death with a garland of cranberries! WAIT. I GOT IT. Let’s put it in a Hefty bag, strap it to the inside of our carburetor and drive across the country, allowing it to slow-cook with a combination of engine heat and exhaust fumes. NO, HOLD THE PHONE. Let’s all put on pressurized suits, Felix Baumgartner style, take a helium balloon up to the edge of space, and with a turkey firmly nestled under each arm, skydive back to earth, allowing it to flash fry as it burns up on re-entry.
Because God forbid- we wouldn’t want a holiday devoted to sitting around in a food coma with our extended families to be anything less than THRILLING.
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*that’s a lie, mostly