Consider this a plea: Don’t cook turkey for Christmas. After all, America just finished the very last of its Thanksgiving leftovers, disguised as turkey nachos or turkey hash or turkey curry or (shudder) turkey tacos. No one wants another big helping of the same in another couple of weeks. Except when they do.
According to the National Turkey Federation, while Thanksgiving represents turkey’s peak, with 46 million birds consumed, 22 million also get roasted off at Christmas. Clearly, millions of Americans are still in the mood for turkey by the time December 25 rolls around.
Why? Turkey is the suckiest of the birds we consume. (There, I said it.) Compared to the divinely fatty duck or goose, succulent little squab, or even the crisp-skinned chicken, turkey is dry and flavorless. That’s modern turkey, bred to have an enormous bland breast, you say. What about heritage breeds? Yeah, I’ve tried those too. Moist, stringy, and flavorless.
As proof, the fact that turkey gravy is prized almost more than the bird itself. Can you think of another holiday meat for which sauce is essential? More evidence of turkey’s weaknesses: this very site. We’re proof that turkey requires some tricked-out recipe with strips of bacon or even a complete change in form to become palatable.
Instead, allow me to suggest beautifully vintage and also delicious holiday ham. Or a devastatingly sexy prime rib roast.
Or what about goose? Did you ever notice that goose recipes tend to be along the lines of “stick goose in oven, take out when done”? No fancy supports or snack-cake stuffings necessary.
Image source: Turkey with Twinkies stuffing by Joyce Slaton