Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Turkey dinner

This morning I am full of questions. The first, and perhaps most obvious question is: what kind of numb skull confuses the middle of the afternoon for the morning? Well, this numb skull does, and yet, today, I rose early and jumped out of bed, much like the sparks that jump onto the tip of your finger from an old television set when you scoot across the carpet to one in your socks while savoring the flavor of rutabaga and potato mash.

Ah rutabaga and potato mash, an old family favorite. Tell me, where are these old families? Do they hide in the woods or something? I'd always suspected that some children are born at ninety-nine years of age, born with a turkey wing behind each ear, born to parents of biblical proportions with great big Brussels sprouts for eye balls and bushes of thyme growing in their big noses. In any case, since this is a cooking blog, I will divulge my process when divulging suits me. It suits me now.

I really wanted chicken drumsticks, but the co-op had been toppled by a rock band and all the drumsticks were missing, so I settled for a turkey wing and leg. To start, in my big ass, yellow, cast iron roaster, I cooked a hefty slice of Vermont bacon on very low heat to "render" the fat. Once the roaster was good and slick, I flung the wing down and lightly browned it on either side.

So, some backwards engineering should tell you that, once I'd browned up the skin, I then dressed it thoroughly with thyme sprigs, salt and pepper, and draped the bacon over it. Wing decorated, I floated it into the oven (250) and tended to my vegetables.

The rutabaga and potato mash is totally simple: half rutabaga, half potato. Boil the crap out of these things in as little water as possible. You do not want to drain the roots when they are fully cooked. Draining the roots causes flavorful and nutritious water to sidle down the rat hole; don't do that. Ok, then you get an implement suitable for mashing and mash away. Be sure to add a good portion of real butter, and finish with heavy cream, salt and pepper.

For the sprouts, I blanch them 3/4ths of the way, put them aside, and then finish them in the roasting pan drippings, last thing before service, while the roaster is still ripping hot. And that's it. Your balanced meal is complete. You can invite Saul or David, Moses or Abraham. I failed to invite anyone, though I invoked the names of some contemporary saints while dabbing my beard with a paper towel.

Bye now

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