Talking Turkey

A bullet-point list of tips, ideas and ephemera regarding America’s favorite food holiday.

The Basics:

  • Buy a good bird
  • Brine, brine, brine
    • I don’t care if you just dissolve some sugar and salt in water and let your turkey sit in there for a few hours or follow a recipe – like Alton Brown’s or someone else’s – it will be better. Take a second. You’ll thank yourself later.
Break Out of the Mold:
  • Spatchcock – Break down the turkey first. You get a more evenly-cooked bird way, way faster.
  • Smoke – The wife and I had a (mostly) friendly turkey face-off a couple of years ago and my smoked turkey destroyed a perfectly-executed oven-roasted bird (and was easier to boot).
  • Spice things up a bit – Just because the Pilgrims and their native counterparts didn’t have paprika, cumin and cayenne at their disposal doesn’t mean you don’t. Spice that bird up a little this year.

Don’t Forget the Sides:

Yes, you will need some green bean casserole next Thursday. But no need to stop at the Campbell’s Soup can.

No-Cook Thanksgivings:
  • Columbia Area Career Center’s Culinary Arts program
    • Open Friday, Monday and Tuesday
    • At this point it’s first come, first served
    • Special item: $5 turkey pot pies “pretty awesome…likely best seller”
    • Menu:
      • Single Knot  Dinner Rolls
      • Pecan, Pumpkin, and Apple Pie (9″ pie, 6 to 8 slices)
      • Whole Roasted Brined Turkey (serves 10 to 15)
      • Turducken
      • Take and Bake Gougères
      • Chicken Stock
      • Brown Turkey Gravy (Frozen) (2 cups, 4 to 6 portions)
      • Cream of Mushroom Soup for Green Bean Casserole
      • Stuffing (Andouille, Oyster, Cornbread, Rice and Vegetable)
      • Cornbread (Monday at least)
    • Regular items for sale too
      • Gumbo, soups, sausages and other cured meats
  • Glenn’s Cafe
    • Glenn’s opens at 2 pm Thanksgiving day.
    • Traditional Thanksgiving meal cost is $25. Kids under 12 cost is $12. Includes all the standard fixins.
    • Make your reservation now for Thanksgiving Dinner at Glenn’s Cafe! (573) 447-7100 or Email
  • Hoss’ Market
  • Wine Cellar and Bistro – Deadline has passed but it might be worth a try.
  • Grocery stores – Chances are your favorite grocery store will sell you some Thanksgiving ease. Check with them for options, prices, etc.

Use Those Leftovers:

  • Make stock. Like you weren’t going to do that.
  • Turkey Tamales
  • From an earlier post:
    • Make a sandwich with strength: Turkey breast, mayo, avocado, bacon, shaved red onion and sliced tomato on homemade or Uprise sourdough bread. Oh damn, maybe some smoked gouda? Best sandwich in the world.
    • Turkey noodle soup. Chop and cook some carrot, onion, garlic and turnips (or whatever else you have) in olive oil until soft. Add turkey stock and simmer. Make homemade egg noodles like a boss, or at least like my grandma. Here’s her recipe: Mix 4 egg yolks, 1 whole egg, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp soft butter and 1 cup flour. Knead, roll out, slice into noodles. Add noodles and remaining turkey to the pot when ready to eat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, taste for seasoning and serve.

Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

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