Personal Turkey

Remember the sheet cake? The darker times of our recent history found us as drooling jackals eyeing one another’s styrofoam plates as we uneasily jockeyed to be the next to gnaw at the kill. The kill being a sheet cake from Costco. We wore our desire for the premium cuts in the toothy facade of a smile that thinly grinned, “get between me and that sugar rosette and I’ll snap your neck.” It was medieval. We were destined to destroy ourselves; our culture relegated to a thin smear of greasy frosting on a golden cake drum. Fortunately, Los Angeles invented the cupcake to save us all. The cupcake: a little cake that is sanitary, individualized, modern, and civil. Everyone gets a rosette. No one has to die. We’ve come so far.

Or have we? Yes, we’ve modernized the cake, but let’s turn our attention to the Thanksgiving turkey. Who thought that surrounding a dead bird with a bunch of starving relatives was a good idea? Limited quantities of light/dark meat, only two drumsticks, one wishbone—all hanging on a carcass to be portioned by the alpha and condescendingly doled to the pack. Portioned and doled in the best case. More traditionally, your uncle and his wife-of-the-month use their table knives to make a mess of the breast while your brother-in-law reaches under your carving knife to peel off half the skin, shuttling it to his plate with an obscene amount of gravy while the kids are screaming about who gets to snap the wishbone this year while the dog sinks his teeth into your leg and then the turkey’s. Jackals. All of you.

But I’m not here to point out problems. I’m here to offer solutions. My solution this year is the personal turkey.

Preparation of the personal turkey dinner is similar to the traditional thanksgiving dinner. Begin by procuring the turkeys. One per person. I recommend urban pygmy turkeys from San Francisco. They’re festive, playful, and—for various medical reasons—have loosely-attached gizzards that make cleaning a breeze.

Urban pygmy turkeys from San Francisco

Clean and salt the turkeys. Then, make a little of your favorite stuffing.

Stuffing for Personal Turkey

The stuffing should be individually-portioned. If you’re making giblet stuffing, be sure to track which stuffing goes with which turkey and stuff the stuffing into the appropriate turkey (the appropriate turkey being the turkey that contributed the giblets for that turkey’s portion of stuffing).

Stuffing the Personal Turkey

Finish seasoning the turkeys according to your family’s tradition. This might involve salt/pepper, garlic, butter, olive oil, parsley, etc. Simply scale and portion the spices accordingly. Proceed to bake, roast, or deep-fry the turkeys as you typically would. Plate the turkeys along with your traditional Thanksgiving fare, ensuring that no dissimilar food items touch one another (garnish excepting).

Personal Turkey Dinner

Serve and enjoy the quiet, orderly Thanksgiving dinner made possible by the personal turkey: a little turkey that is sanitary, individualized, modern, and civil. Everyone gets light and dark meat, both drumsticks, a wishbone, and their very own carcass to suck on. No one has to die. We’ve come so far. For this, we give thanks.

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3 Responses to Personal Turkey

  1. Ricola says:

    This is pretty disappointing, how can you serve personal turkey without also using personal peas and personal parsley?

  2. Bacon Butt says:

    I find the posing of the personal turkeys excessively sexual, bordering on porny. This is intended as a compliment.

  3. NotLucia says:

    Dear Chef: I am doing a blog post on graphic food porn taking over actual recipe/cooking sites. May I use your sexy turkey picture as an example if I credit and/or link to your site? It is perfect for the point I will try to make. Please let me know if this is acceptable and how you would like credit. Thank you for your time.

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