Being the optimistic kinda guy I am I have high hopes for Thanksgiving. I went whole hog, so to speak, and bought a heritage breed (Bronze, I think it’s called). It cost $132 (the label says $107 but I had to put a $25 deposit on it. I know. Insane. But, well, free range, organic blah blah blah. Walkin’ the walk.) with the intention of deboning it and stuffing it as I have done a few times in the past.
I deboned it watching the Jacques Pepin/Julia Child video on PBS (which I have bookmarked). This is not as easy as you’d imagine. I had to keep washing my hands to back the video up and watch him effortlessly snap the freakin’ thigh or some goddam thing—I was completely unable to accomplish this by any stretch of the imagination. He just rips the meat and skin off of the carcass like he’s taking off his socks. This is not how it works. Plus he did this in less than 5 minutes. Over hour later I was still trying to locate the yadditti-yah joint or whatever (“eet ees jusht below dee shouldah—do turkey have shoulders?). It was hell. And just an absolute mess. The place was an abattoir.
In the end, I managed to arrive at the same destination, we were just on different conveyances. He was in a car, possibly a Maserati, I was on foot with only one shoe and there was a pebble in it. It took me an hour and a half.
I rationalize making this much effort because the cooking time without bones is dramatically reduced, carving it is miraculously easy, the presented turkey carved with the stuffing in it is beautiful, and I can use the carcass to make stock in advance. Which I did.
Now, on to grasping the mysteries of the butcher’s knot. (YouTube video) I was never good with knots.
And Happy Thanksgiving.