Best Turkey of My Life
Andy Ricker of Pok Pok fame and his amazing Thai hens inspired me to buy a rotisserie attachment for my Weber charcoal grill. Most of what I know about rotisserie cooking I actually learned from Mike Vrobel, the star of Dad Cooks Dinner, who has published several books I own, but it was the new one devoted to rotisserie turkey that got my Weber all fired up to see if the whirling machine could do for turkey what it does for chicken. Yes it does!
It's not much of a risk to buy a grocery store chicken and try something new. However, a pre-order, heritage, specially raised on a farm in Minnesota, at a holiday price per pound is another matter. When big bucks are at stake you want a steady hand leading the way and Dad Cooks Dinner is that guy. It makes me feel confident from the beginning to the 'add 16 fresh briquettes each hour until the thickest part of the breast measures 155 degrees' (on my new Thermapen instant read that Kenji Lopez-Alt made me buy on sale a few weeks ago). You have to trust a guy like Mike who counts his briquettes so carefully.
The brine is the easiest part and is applied 24 hours before cooking. The toughest part of this whole operation is getting the bird on the skewer.
Trussing the bird is essiential to keep it from flailing around and getting the dangling pieces over done. Mike's turkey book gives very clear instructions. Then there's nothing to do but kick back for about 2-1/2 hours, except add the briquettes of course. Being an efficient person I used that time to make hummus to snack on and stage a dry cider tasting.
As I carved the turkey, I was astonished at the juicy white meat that fell away from the bone easily in nice slices. The dark meat was succulent as well. No seasonings were required at the table, it was delicious as brined. It was the truly the best turkey of my life. I can't imagine cooking one any other way. Thanks Mike, Andy and Kenji. Happy Thanksgiving!