Of the 244 million turkeys that are consumed each year in the United States, roughly 20% are eaten during Thanksgiving. The turkey has become so associated with the Thanksgiving tradition, that one lucky bird is officially pardoned by the President of the United States and spared the ax. (Note: These are better odds than you get for the lottery.)
The turkey is not a wise bird. Brazilians tell me that when it starts to rain, there are reported cases of turkeys looking up into the sky with their mouths open that have apparently drowned. I suspect that this is an exaggeration, but Brazilians allow turkeys to sleep in nearby trees because they kill poisonous snakes that crawl across the yard.
Found below are a couple of pointers if you are planning to do a bird this Thanksgiving.
Choose an Organic Turkey for Thanksgiving
We have been eating organic free-range turkeys for years. This year we have selected a Bourbon Red, a “heritage” turkey, which I have been told is a breed that was abundant in the Americas at the time the Pilgrims first celebrated Thanksgiving in 1621. Let’s face it; an organic turkey is a turkey that actually tastes like a turkey rather than some genetically engineered creature that has been raised in conditions that are not even fit for a foul fowl.
Brine your Turkey for Thanksgiving
I am in favor of brining your turkey. The problem with roasting a turkey is that the white meat cooks faster than the dark meat. In order for the dark meat to reach the proper internal temperature, there is a tendency to overcook the white meat. The brining process allows both the white and dark meat to reach their proper temperature without drying out.
In effect, a Heritage turkey is a “real” turkey whose meat has not been genetically enhanced to create something that looks like a turkey on steroids. The Bourbon Red that we had last year was the best turkey I have eaten in years. It actually tasted like a turkey rather than some mutation conceived by a mad scientist in Tyson’s Food Labs. A native of Kentucky. A 15 lb Bourbon Red turkey will easily feed 8 people with substantial leftovers.
Eat well my friends, and save some space for pumpkin pie.