Morton Thompson's Turkey

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God but this sounds awesomely good! Hat tip to Maggie's Farm for the link to: Morton Thompson's Turkey
Morton Thompson's Turkey
Time to see who has the guts to try this at Thanksgiving.

There is only one way to stuff and roast a turkey. I make this statement boldly and without fear of successful contradiction, knowing that I am asking for the indignant protests of countless housewives who have been cooking turkey superbly for years, by recipes handed down from the time of the Pilgrims. Nevertheless, there is only one way to cook a turkey, and I am confident that I will be backed in this claim by anyone who has ever eaten turkey cooked according to the recipe devised by the late Morton Thompson. In the minds of most people, Thompson is remembered chiefly as the author of a best seller, Not as a Stranger, which later became a motion picture. Around my house, he is remembered � and revered � for his turkey recipe, which gives him hall-of-fame status and puts him in the same class as the man who invented the wheel, Plato, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Eli Whitney, Flaubert, Babe Ruth, and Santa Claus.

Merely sitting here and thinking about Thompson's turkey makes me wish I were cooking one now � and if I know me, I will be cooking one sometime within the next few days. The thought of this wondrous culinary creation is not merely maddening, it is compelling. It is also tiring. Thompson's turkey demands hard work, which ought to be divided among a number of people. But it is worth it. I have been cooking turkey Thompson's way for about a dozen years. Every one of the vast collection of acquaintances to whom I have served it has gasped, raved, and wound up pronouncing it the best ever. There is no other turkey recipe that comes close to it � and this is odd, in a way, for the ordinary Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, cooked according to any number of old reliable recipes, is a handsome sight at the table, and Thompson's turkey is an absolute horror. Even a poached turkey, removed white and dripping from a steaming pot looks better than Thompson's.

This turkey comes out of the oven looking as though someone had made a fearful mistake. It is covered with a hard jet-black crust that seems to be a combination of coal and ashes. When they first catch sight of it, guests wish they had gone elsewhere for dinner. When they begin to eat it, they realize they never before have known turkey. They refuse to leave until they have eaten every scrap of it. Some ask to take the bones home to boil them up into a heartening soup. Others stuff bits into pockets, handbags, or paper napkins. The only trouble with Thompson's turkey, from the cook's point of view, is that there is seldom any left over.

The truth is that Thompson's turkey is to turkey as Miss Monroe is to women, as Jones was to golf, as � well the reader may choose his own champions. Thompson's turkey, beneath that hard black shell, is browned in a variety of tones ranging from light tan to mahogany, and has a variety of tastes stretching from marvelous to unbelievable. Now these are all strong claims. But here is what one Thompson's-turkey admirer said about it: "Several years ago I ate a turkey prepared and roasted by Morton Thompson. I didn't eat the whole turkey, but that wasn't my fault. There were outsiders present who ganged up on me.
The recipe is complex, requiring about 30 different ingredients but I am sitting here salivating... Damn that sounds delicious! We are having Thanksgiving at a friends house (along with my Dad) but maybe I'll do this for Christmas.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on November 19, 2007 10:51 PM.

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