For Thanksgiving 2013, First We Feast is holding our first-ever symposium. On turkey. Because that’s all anyone’s gonna give a shit about until Thursday, anyway. Your ideas, question, and contributions are welcome here. This is our first installment.

Every year, The New York Times dedicates reporting teams and cutting-edge journalism efforts to the war-torn frontline that is the battle over how to properly make a Thanksgiving dinner, as perpetuated by the poultry industrial complex. Conflicting accounts and varying preparations over the years have led to an over-abundance of instruction on the matter, and as such, the Salinger-backpocketing loons have started to go batshit crazy over NYT turkey recipes, apparently.

Take, for example, senior Wired writer Ryan Tate, who can count himself firmly in the (NYT Minimalist recipe writer and G.O.A.T. food blogger) Mark Bittman truther movement camp, now:



Tate’s referring to Bittman’s 2002 spatchcooked turkey recipe (“Turning Your Slow-Lane Turkey Into a Roadrunner“) and his 2012 recipe (“Split Roast Turkey“).

And indeed, they do present the ostensibly sophisticated quantum mechanics issues outlined by Tate above.

So we went to the source. Bittman, when reached by email, on the difference between the two recipes:

In that case one is 45 mins and the second is 55 mins and the additional 10 mins is a hedge in case your oven isn’t browning the meat fast enough. In other words, a refinement after revisiting the recipe (and cooking it several times) ten years later.

So there you have it.

The lesson here is that everyone’s oven is different and if you can’t tell when your cot-damn turkey is cooked, your geese are cooked, people.* Also, in the time it’s taken you to read this, you could’ve already just fried the bird, Knievel-style.**

[*Your figurative geese. Not any literal ones. Are you attempting to cook geese too? You shouldn’t be. Because if you really aren’t getting the cooking turkey thing down, you are absolutely fucked when it comes to goose, pal.]

[**First We Feast’s Knievel-Style Turkey Recipe: (1) 8 to 12 Pound Turkey, (1) Frying Vat, (1) Vat of Frying Oil, (10) Cups of Flour, (3) Ounces of Rye Whiskey. STEP 1: Fire up the vat with the oil in it. STEP 2: Clap the flour like you’re LeBron James. STEP 3: Rub the flour on the bird. STEP 4: Make sure someone has Vine loaded on their photo and ready to capture this magic moment. STEP 5: Drink two of the three ounces of whiskey. STEP 6: Grab the bird by the legs, and swing it in a circle five, six times. STEP 7: Launch that fucker towards the vat.*** STEP 8: In the off chance you haven’t set your house on fire by now, just kick the vat over and that should do the trick. STEP 9: Let the bird cool for 20-30 minutes. Eat with the third ounce of whiskey.]

[***First We Feast and associated properties takes no responsibility if you spill your drink, or anything else that could go wrong during this step.]