Mutant Turkey

“I’ll cook this year!” I should’ve clued in it wasn’t as easy as I thought from the large collective sigh of relief from the other potential cooks, but I was too busy imagining the glory of my perfect Thanksgiving turkey to pay attention.

A complete turkey novice, I researched hundreds of turkey recipes until I found ‘the one’, entitled ‘The Perfect Turkey’. This recipe guaranteed your family would rave and shower you with compliments.

I’d done the math and decided, for the entire six people who would be attending dinner, one of whom was a two-year-old, a twenty-pound bird was a must.

The night before Thanksgiving, per the recipe of wonder, I prepared a salt/sugar brine in which to soak my turkey for the recommended twelve hours. The recipe swore this would ensure the meat was juicy and tender.

Thanksgiving came, shining with promise. I followed my guaranteed recipe to the letter. Meat thermometer into the thigh, turkey into a cooking bag, in the oven for three hours, per the foolproof directions.

Three hours flew by and I checked the thermometer. It showed the right temperature. I took out the turkey; it was a delicious golden brown. I prepared myself for the accolades as I cut into the bird.

I swear the thing gobbled at me. It wasn’t done.

I remained calm. No big deal, it happens, right? Reinsert thermometer, bird back in bag, and into the oven for another hour.

My family waited with anticipation. Again. An hour later, the thermometer indicated it was really ready, so I pulled it out and cut into the thigh meat. The bird gobbled in protest. Back in. Back out. Still raw.

We played this game a little more, then, since the side dishes were cold and my toddler was starving, I gave up, sliced off some of the more done parts, and nuked them in the microwave. I flipped the rest of the turkey back in the bag and flung it in the oven.

It baked while we ate, while we did the dishes, and while we ate pie. Each time I checked the bird was still kicking.

I turned the temperature down, left it to slow cook, told my husband to watch for fire, and went shopping. When I got back four hours later, I wasn’t shocked to see it was still raw.

I ended up baking that mutant turkey for two days and nights and it never did get completely cooked. At least we have it waiting for next year. Maybe I’ll start cooking it on Halloween. That is if the family lets me.


  1. Funny stuff! It reminds me of the time my younger son watched, with wide-eyed horror, as I pulled the giblet bag out of a Thanksgiving turkey while getting it ready for the oven. His only comment: "Mom, you have no idea how glad I am that you know these things"

  2. ^^ ROFL!

    So... did you ever figure out the problem? Now I'm terrified to attempt to cook my own turkey dinner!


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