Thursday, November 26, 2009

This is how we do turkey

We - as in myself, my mother, and other ladies of my family have a very specific process for preparing our Thanksgiving turkey. This recipe comes from Colombia and even though we are not Colombian (we're Nicaraguan, among other things) we've adopted it as our own and have been making turkey this way for as long as I can remember.

This bird must be prepared 3 days ahead of time.
Cover the table in saran wrap and lay down a bed of grape leaves. A paste of roasted and crushed cumin seeds, lots of chopped garlic, black peppercorns, and sea salt is then used to cover the whole bird. When you pull off the metal leg clamp, make sure to reach in and take out the neck (my mom uses it for the gravy, I don't go there). I call this step "Sex in the kitchen." This can be a bit obscene, please cover the eyes of small children.
Next cover all exposed parts with the grape leaves.
Then wrap it up airtight in saran wrap. You really need to go crazy to get this right. It requires almost an entire roll of wrap.
3 days later it's ready for the transformation. Unwrap it.
Roast it.
And share.

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