Turkey 101: With A Chicken

I’m not the type of person to make my children call me M’am. I’m not opposed, I actually rather like the sound of it, in theory.

Every now and then, when one of my children loses their damn minds and errantly hollers, “WHAT?!!!” in response to me calling for them, I invoke the “Say yes M’am” rule just to make them squirm a bit and show them the proper and respectful way to address their mother.

Then about 5 minutes later, they forget, and so do I and we’re back to Mommy or Mama.

But now, all of the sudden, two of my four children are calling me M’am ALL THE TIME.

With no prompting from me.

Or their father.

Could this be the influence of friends or too much television?

I don’t know, but I’m not sure if I like it. It feels a little cold, and impersonal. On the upside, it does make it appear to strangers that I’ve got a good hold on this parenthood thing. Every now and then, Soledad confuses the him/her correlation to sir/m’am. We get a few strange looks, but otherwise I was totally on the fence about the whole issue.

Until . . . I found a gray hair in my head.

And now I’m M’am coupled with a gray hair. And that is downright frightening.

Not because I’m afraid to grow old. I’m not. I’m happy to say I’m 35. And when I’m 65, I’ll yell it to the roof tops. When I’m 89, I’ll smile and say “Aaaah, but I only feel 49.” But the whole gray hair thing has thrown me for a loop because well, I’m vain.

So there. You heard me say it. Hate me if you want.

But, I want to be one of the really fabulous looking older people, with sparkling eyes, fashionable turtle necks, and a cute little bunt cut that hits right above my shoulders. And I had always imagined that my hair would still be brown, not gray. Which would be okay if it were all gray and posh, but I don’t think I can seriously go through the peppered stage. Especially if these durn kids are calling me “M’am”. Which has got me to thinking, what in the heck will my grandchildren call me? I always thought that it would be “Nana” or “Noney”, but I can just see this gray haired M’am thing taking off, and before you know it I’m being called “Maw, Maw” and I don’t want to be a “Maw Maw”. I haven’t seen many chic dressed Maw Maw’s with bunt cuts and high heels, driving around town in their drop top Benz.

Oh, maybe I should just surrender, and be the first.

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So, the chicken I was referring to in the title was this chicken.

Not me. But if the shoe fits. . . . . . .

So I guess we have two chickens here.

Me. Chicken to grow old.

This. Chicken to be eaten.

Chicken because they are just like Turkeys only smaller. That’s how I’m going to look at life.

Tomorrow I’ll still be the same person, only a little older. Still the same me. I’ll tackle the small stuff, and then when I get to the bigger stuff, it won’t seem so hard.

Turkeys are a lot like that. If you’ve handled a chicken, or even if you haven’t, you can handle a Turkey.

It’s just a big hunk of meat that wants to be loved and handled and seasoned. And roasted. It really wants to be roasted. But only if, you know how to butter it up. You know, sweet talk it, get it all liquored up and fat, before you apply the heat.

Brine it baby. That’s what I’m talking about. It’ll give you a fool proof roasted turkey everytime.

Moist.
Moist.
Moist.
Succulent even.

No dry breast meat on this bird.

Turkey 101: With A Chicken
Here’s What You Need:

Large Container Big Enough to hold your Turkey and 2 Gallons of Water
12-15 pound Turkey, defrosted
2 gallons cold water
2 cups bourbon ( you can also use whiskey)
2 cups Kosher Salt, plus more for seasoning the Turkey
1 cup sugar
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
2 of each (Apple, Lemon, Orange, Onion) all quartered, optional
Butter or Olive Oil

Directions:

1. Remove neck bones and giblets from the Turkey. Reserve for gravy.

2. Rinse the turkey.

3. In your large container place 2 gallons of cold water, bourbon, 2 cups of salt, and 1 cup sugar. Stir until it dissolves completely. Add the turkey. Refrigerate for 16 – 24 hours.

4. Remove the turkey from the brine. Dry with paper towels. Sit on roasting rack, breast side up and let stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Discard the brine.

5. At the end of the two hours preheat the oven to 325.

6. Season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Dust the inner cavity with salt and pepper.

7. Place lemon, orange, and onion wedges into the cavity of the bird. Tuck the wings under the bird. If you like you can tie the legs together using kitchen twine for a nice presentation.

8. Soak a clean white kitchen towel in the chicken stock. Take it out, squeeze it so that it is not dripping wet, and place it over the breast of the turkey. Put the turkey in the oven, with the breast facing the front of the oven, and roast for 3 hours, basting with chicken stock every 30 minutes. When basting the bird, be sure to continually wet the kitchen towel, as this is will help keep the turkey moist.

9. After 3 hours, remove the towel, and brush the bird with olive oil or butter. Turn the bird so that the breast is facing the back of the oven. Continue to cook for an hour more. Cook the turkey until the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh has reached 165 degrees and the turkey is a golden brown. If the turkey is not fully cooked, baste and return to the oven for 20 minutes and check again.

10. Once fully cooked, remove from the oven, and let rest for 30 minutes (at least) before carving.

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