November 23, 2006

The Bird Man of Llamaville

So Robbo brined his first turkey last evening.

As Robbo doesn't have a pot large enough to hold a 20 pound bird and several gallons of spiced sea-water and had to rely on one of those large, plastic bags instead, Robbo also managed to brine his shoes, his khakis, the surrounding floor and a fair bit of the kitchen counter as well.

Ah, well - the sacrifices one is prepared to make....

As a matter of fact, I thoroughly approve of the brining fad which seems to have appeared within the last couple of years. To tell the truth, I had always found domestic turkey to be rayther, well, boring and this process really peps it up.

If you ever get the chance, by the way, you should try wild turkey. As is the case with most other birds, the difference in flavor is remarkable. We had a nice wild bird for Christmas dinner when I was eight. I remember this distinctly because I was the one who shot the bird. This may have enhanced its flavor in my mind, but my recollection is that it was awefully tasty.

YIPS from Steve-O: With the in-laws and the outlaws here at the house, I agree with Robbo---Wild Turkey is definitely going to be the thing to get me through the day.

Anyhoo, I mentioned to the Dear One that Robbo was "brining" the bird and she snorted, and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like "faux-traditonalist" althought it could have just as easily have been "photo-deliciousness." Either way. I cleaned and dressed the bird, going with a mixture of dried herbs (heavy on the thyme) from the garden mixed with cajun salt and canola oil. I really wanted to put a bit of beer into the basin but got caught and busted. Oh well, no sooper sekrit ingredient this year.

Rounding out the menu at Orgle Manor South: sweet potatos, cranberry, green beens with this sort of pecan and pepper thing, stuffing, and The Dear One's secret recipe gravy. Which I'm sort of convinced does not include beer. Followed by pie---last night we made the pecan (with a new oatmeal pecan recipe), traditional pumpkin, and the store-bought (mon dieu!) ones The Dear One's dad brought.

The bird went in at 8:21, and it's 20 lbs. So I guess the race is on!

FURTHER YIPS from Steve-O: Was it just me, or did anyone else, reading Robbo's posting above, hear it being read with the voice of the guy who does the NFL Films narration

YIPS from Steve-O, Turkey Liveblogging Update: Hey, this isn't the butterball turkey cooking tips guide or hotline here, so I have no particular insight other than the one correct way to baste is left-handed, counterclockwise, with a minimum of adult beverage spilled on the bird.

And no, this isn't a desperate attempt to google chum into some of that "tips on making the perfect Thanksgiving turkey" traffic. No way would we do something like that. We'd have to surrender all our nekkid pics of Weather Channel Babe Alexandra Steele and Fox Nooz chic Juliette Huddy if we did something as desparate as that! Heck, they might even throw us in a women's prison with Martha Stewart!

Yessiree, no pics of hot, steamy, lovingly prepared juicy stuffing here at the LLamas this year. Sexy French Nooz Babe Melissa Theuriau would have it no other way...

Yips! back from Robbo: Bird in! at 10:30. Getting the damned thing out of the brining bag is even messier than getting it in. And huge apologies to the Dear One for going all Martha Stewart and offending her sensibilities on this.

So. Bird in oven. Fire laid. All the china and silver went out yesterday. We're really on the ball this year - nothing to do for the next six or seven hours except light into the Tio Pepe. Woo hoo!

YIPS from Steve-O---Life Imitates Mad About You update: I swear to Clapton, we just ran through the whole "What? You're buying ice? Burt, look, they buy ice" routine from Mad About You. I realize this might violate some cosmic "No Helen Hunt on Major Holidays" blogging rule but hey, shoot me. Back from the Great Valu (early morning beverage run) in a jiff.

Robbo, how about a little later I dress up as Priscilla Alden and use my Pilgrim whiles to get your sooper sekrit recipe for Giblets a la LLama out of you...

YIPS from Steve-O 1:30 PM Update: Turkey's out, stuffing is cooking, gravy right afterward. The great table setting derby has begun.

Yips! back from Robbo: 2:15 Update: Dude, that's like two different updates of mine you've wiped out through forgetting to close the post! Of course, you may be doing it deliberately in order to save me from getting in trouble for too much Helen Hunt drooling.

In any case, El Turkey is coming along just fine, thank you. Popper already popped, but I don't believe it - ain't no way a twenty pound bird cooks through in four hours. I'm gonna use the Force on this one and stick to my original Estimated Time of Doneness. In the meanwhile, it's baste-O-rama!

YIPS from Steve-O 8:20 edition: Insert Homer Simpson drooling noise here

BTW, this is just downright disgusting---cannibal!

Posted by Robert at November 23, 2006 07:19 AM | TrackBack

I brined my turkey in a Coleman cooler, brought it home frozen and put the herbs, garlic, salt, and sugar in the cooler, put the turkey in, covered with water. Couple days later it has defrosted and then I throw in a bag of ice from 711. After it's over, I wash out the cooler. No plastic bag, no spillage, and no consumption of scarce refrigerator space.

Posted by: dave s at November 28, 2006 09:44 AM