Just Chill, Turkey

Turkey in apron and chef hat has no idea what recipe to cook for dinner.Her way or the highway.

(Outstanding Turkey roasting tip below)

My wife and I rarely fight about cooking.  First of all, it’s her kitchen.  She can tell you where and when every pot, pan and appliance came from.  Plus, she’s got generations of female kin at her back,  with know-how and recipes and skill.

All I’ve got is the internet and a guy’s inborn drive to experiment.

The sensible thing in such a situation would be to find something useful to do in the garage.  Instead, I decided to teach Simon Cowell a thing or two about singing.  Don’t ask what possessed me, because I do not know.  I just found my mouth open, explaining to my wife the very best, no fail, expert tested way to cook the Thanksgiving Turkey.

I imagine, when a guy has his car rocketing down a mountain grade, and suddenly finds he didn’t make the last turn, what goes through his mind as his tires claw air.  What a view from up here.  No going back.

Now, to my credit, it was a very good idea.  Heard it from a real chef on the radio driving home from work.  Made absolutely perfect sense.  The bird, he said, was hard to get done right because it has two kinds of meat. They cook, and get done, at very different temperatures.  The white meat cooks fast, the dark meat cooks slow, and needs more heat.  So, it’s really hard to get them both done at the same time.

Which explains why its so tough to keep the breast meat moist without leaving the thighs underdone.  Tell me you didn’t ever wonder.

‘What’s wrong with my turkey?’, my wife said.  I could see the sign. I thought I could make the turn.

‘It’s a great idea,’ I said.  ‘I love your turkey, none better. Really.’

‘So, why does it need fixing?’, she said.  I thought about touching the brakes, but I was in the groove.

‘No, nothing like that.  Just a tip to make it easier, better.  From a top chef.’

If I hadn’t had the wind in my ears, I probably would have heard the tires squeal their last complaint, as they lost their grip on the asphalt.

A hundred women rose up behind my wife, to do battle.

‘A what?  A “chef“?  Is that what you’re telling me? I need cooking lessons, now?’

‘It’s just science’, I said, knowing that would take all the personal insult right out of the discussion.

‘If you put ice packs on the turkey breast, while the bird is waiting to get stuffed, it makes them colder than the thighs.  Then, when you put it in the oven, it takes the breast longer to heat up, so it cooks less, while the thighs cook longer.  Bingo!’  Case closed.

‘You want to wrap ace bandage and ice packs around my turkey, because you heard something on the radio, and think mine isn’t cooked properly. Well’, she said, ‘ why don’t you just go on ahead and do it ALL yourself this Thanksgiving, Mr. Chef‘, she went on.

I’d tell you the rest of the conversation.  But let’s just say, it was quite a view, all the way down.

It really is a good idea.  But lets just keep it to ourselves.

Ice Your Turkey’s Breast Before Cooking for a Moister Bird

Regarded food scientist Harold McGee says applying an ice pack to your turkey breast before roasting makes all the difference between a dry, overcooked breast and a moist, juicy slice of heaven. Chef Justin Wangler of the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center put the advice to the test, roasting two turkeys side-by-side. The results: The McGee turkey breast was indeed moister.

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