November 14: This American entree honors a man high on bath salts breaking into a home and putting up Christmas decorations.
Just one trial of bath salts can lead to intense withdrawal symptoms such as: physical weakness, shaking, insomnia, visual and auditory hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, extreme aggression, and suicidal behavior. Withdrawal symptoms are so nasty that the user often needs another dose to alleviate all these symptoms. Bath salts when put in a bath, however, relax tight muscles, soothe aches, and just overall calm the bather. Although I am loathe to rush to judgment, it does that the bathtub, not inside the body, really is the best place for bath salts.
So it truly was a pleasant surprise when a crook high on bath salts broke into a home in Vandalia, Oho and put up Christmas decorations. There’s no word whether the family appreciated enough this manifestation of the Yuletide spirit to offset the damage caused by the break in.
The meal you should serve to commerate this day: Brined Turkey Breast
Celebrate the drive and determination of the bath-salts burglar with this tasty American entire. It uses 1½ cups coarse salt, enough for even the most ardent salt enthusiast.
True, Thanksgiving won’t be another week or so, but if you look to this plucky fellow for inspiration, you’ll have more than enough energy to make another turkey on Thanksgiving day. You might even find yourself wanting to buy a Christmans tree to decorate. Don’t let Ohio Man down.
BRINED TURKEY BREAST
INGREDIENTS – BRINE
1 gallon ice-cold water
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon rosemary
1½ cups coarse salt
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon thyme
8 pounds thawed turkey breast (for love of God, Montressor, the turkey must be thawed)
INGREDIENTS – COOKING TURKEY
¼ cup butter
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2-to-3 cups chicken broth
really big pot, 8+ gallons, or turkey bag
large oven-safe pan or casserole dish
Serves 12. Takes 15-to-24 hours
PREPARATION – THAWING TURKEY
A large frozen item like a turkey requires at least a day (24 hours) to defrost in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of weight.
If you are pressed for time, use this quicker defrosting method. Keep turkey in packaging and add it to a large pot. Cover turkey with ice-cold water. Let turkey sit in cold water for 30 minutes per pound. In this recipe, that would be 4 hours. Pour out water.
But the turkey must be thawed before cooking. Or there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
PREPARATION – BRINE
Crumble bay leaves. Mince garlic cloves. Grind peppercorns. Remove packaging from turkey and rinse in cold water. Add brine ingredients except turkey to pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Add turkey. Add ice-cold water as needed to cover turkey. Cover pot or close turkey bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours but not more than 24.
PREPARATION – COOKING TURKEY
Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put turkey in large pan. Melt butter. Brush melted butter onto turkey. Sprinkle pepper and salt onto turkey. Place wire rack in pan. Put turkey on rack. Put meat thermometer in thickest part of turkey. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake for 2-to-3 hours or until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Baste with ½ cup of chicken broth after every 30 minutes of baking at 325 degrees.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.