For those of you responsible for producing a Thanksgiving meal that features a turkey, it’s time to start thinking about ordering one.
You can order a heritage turkey from a local farmer in certain states. To learn more about heritage turkeys, and for contact information for local farmers, go to Slow Food’s “Ark of Taste.”
Also, if you want to serve a turkey that’s been brined, did you know you can buy pre-brined turkeys from Whole Foods? It’s true.
My personal turkey strategy is to make two “small” turkeys, around 12 pounds each. I make one the day before Thanksgiving (without stuffing), take all the meat off the bones, and use the carcass and skin to make the broth I’ll need to make the gravy and stuffing. Then, the next day, I cook the second turkey. It takes a lot less time than cooking a monster-sized turkey and yet I still get to serve a beautiful, warm bird and the house smells fantastic. I heat the turkey slices from the day before in some of the turkey broth.
When I explained my approach to a friend, she got a stunned look on her face that, a second later, turned to awe. She whispered, “That’s genius!”
Yes. It is. My one true contribution to human civilization: the two-turkey protocol. Thanksgiving recipes to follow in a few weeks, including my Great Aunt Karlie’s Sweet Potato Pudding, which is largely composed of bourbon. Very, very good bourbon.