Nov 23, 2022 - Food and Drink

In defense of turkey

Illustration of a turkey with the Axios logo as a beak.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

👋 Hey there, Joe here.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I've had enough of the turkey slander.

  • I've heard it all — too dry, too bland, too big and awkward to handle.

Look, we're all entitled to our opinions, so here's mine: No Thanksgiving is complete without turkey.

  • Here's why:

It's versatile: Much of the criticism revolves around the alleged lack of flavor and tenderness. I'm sorry if you've never enjoyed a properly cooked and thoroughly seasoned bird, but it's entirely possible with practice and sound technique.

  • Turkey takes well to all kinds of flavor profiles — citrus, herbaceous or spicy all work.
  • Too dry? Let it rest. Even 45 minutes isn't too long. Make sure to load up on dark meat, too.

It's fun: I love to cook, and turkey is a blank canvas to try different methods.

  • We've been deep-frying turkey the last few years, and taking a break from the crowded kitchen, grabbing a few beers and heading outside for the frying is a blast.

The leftovers: My Thanksgiving isn't over until the next day's sandwich of turkey, mayo, stuffing and loads of black pepper.

The bottom line: Even if you disagree and your holiday plate is turkey-free, I'm wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful and harmonious holiday!


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