November 23rd, 2015

camp cook

It's the way to go

I love to spatchcock a turkey to roast it. It gets the dark meat thoroughly done, while the white meat stays super juicy. And I've taught the technique to our Venturers, who get to work out their frustrations on the big birds.

Slasher pic

Slasher pic
Venturers spatchcocking turkeys at Winter Rendezvous 2013

To spatchcock your turkey, flip it over and cut out the backbone with a very sharp butcher knife. Throw the backbone, the neck, and the giblets in a pot to make stock.

Flip the bird over and do CPR on it. You should hear an audible crunch and feel it break beneath your hands. Then anoint with oil and season as desired. Place in a pan, all splayed out. Add celery, onions, apples, whatever -- or just roast it plain.

Roast at 450 degrees for an hour with the pan covered in foil. This keeps everything moist. Then remove the foil and continue to roast in an open pan until thigh meat reaches at least 165 degrees internally (an hour to an hour and a half or so, depending on size of bird). Then let rest, so that internal temp rises a bit more, while bird also re-absorbs moisture.

Et voila!


The finished product
Spatchcocked turkey produced at home Thanksgiving 2014

This can be done in any home oven big enough to hold the pan. I've even done them in my 20-qt cast iron dutch oven over an open fire!
big hairy deal

Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now

Back when I was in my last year of seminary (some time late in the Cretaceous, I think), I was in a student production of Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy. I played a 60-year-old Austrian count during WW 2, who was troubled by his dreams of Adolf Hitler. I was 24.

For the performance, I had to have my hair and mustache frosted in order to look the part. Deanne didn't want to come see the play, because she didn't want to see me looking so old. I told her she should come anyway, since by the time I was actually 60, I wouldn't have any hair left. So I wouldn't look anything like Count Whatsisname; it was all fantasy.

Well, now I am older than the Count, and my hair is missing -- at least, much of it -- and for the first time in my life, I have grown a beard. It's a salt-and-pepper kind of thing, more salt than pepper. I'm thinking that before I shave it off I ought to frost the whole thing, just for grins. It would be quite a look.