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The Best Turkey Ever!

November 26, 2014

This story is the closest thing I have to a Chatterbox Classic. I don’t post on Thursdays so here it is today. I haven’t posted it in a while. If you’re reading it for the first time, I hope you enjoy it. If you remember it from the past, congratulations; your long term memory is still intact.





This morning I woke alone in bed. Mrs. Chatterbox got up before dawn and began working on the feast that is the hallmark of this special day. I don’t deserve having a spouse willing to get up before roosters crow just to please me with a sumptuous banquet, but I’ll accept this gift as graciously as I can.


As I lay here enjoying the aroma of onions and fried pork sausage that will add flavor to Mrs. Chatterbox’s dressing, I can’t help but think back on the best Thanksgiving turkey I ever had. It was shortly after Mrs. Chatterbox and I were married, and even she admits it was spectacular.


That year my parents decided to have Thanksgiving at their house. Mom went out of her way to make everything perfect. The doorbell went into overtime with a steady flow of invited guests. Mom kept popping out of the kitchen to greet the new arrivals, a spatula in one hand and a bourbon and Seven in the other.


At one point Mom emerged from the kitchen with a curious look on her face. I could tell she had a slight buzz going on, usually she isn’t much of a drinker.


“What’s wrong?” I asked.


“Nothing. Nothing,” she said.


Twenty minutes later the same thing. “Mom, something is wrong. What is it?”


“It’s that darn turkey,” she said. "It just doesn’t look right. I want it to look like Norman Rockwell painted it but, well it looks…weird…”


I went to the oven, donned an oven mitt and pulled it out. When I lifted the lid I burst out laughing. “Mom,” I said, “Just how much have you had to drink?”


“Maybe a bit more than usual. Why do you ask?”


I glanced at the bird in the oven. It looked like a leathery battle helmet from ancient times. “You’re roasting this turkey upside down.”


“Upside down!” my mother exclaimed. “I thought it just had really big wings.”


This was a happy accident because all of the juices from the dark meat dripped into the white, making for tremendous moistness. The turkey split apart while cooking and didn’t look very attractive surrounded by parsley on Mom’s special Thanksgiving platter, but it will always remain the most succulent turkey I’ve ever eaten, until I carve into the one my wife is now preparing for me.


If you ask me, all turkeys should be roasted upside down, if you can afford the bourbon. And be sure you have the number to Alcoholics Anonymous on speed dial.




Happy Thanksgiving


A happy mistake, I have done this a few times with chicken, totally sober...............
By: John on November 26, 2014
I recently read that is a recommended metthod for just the reasons you state.
By: Cranky on November 26, 2014
What a great tip. Who woulda thunk it. I hope your Thanksgiving is as wonderful as your sharing of stories always is. Happy Turkey Day
By: Oma Linda on November 26, 2014
just saw a commercial this season with a tip to roast it upside down for the first hour, just to ensure the breast stays extra moist. :)
By: TexWisGirl on November 26, 2014
My mother always cooks hers upside down, and always has. No bourbon required! She sends them to "Camp Hotpoint" from 2am at 250degrees to baste themselves through the night, and she goes back to bed. It works.
By: mimi on November 26, 2014
I've heard that this is the best way to cook a turkey -- and I may have even tried it once -- but it just doesn't look right!
By: The Broad on November 26, 2014
They're now recommending cooking it that way--your mom was ahead of her time!!
By: fishducky on November 26, 2014
What a blessing a little bourbon can be. I noticed lately that they are suggesting that for the first hour, the bird should be cooked upside down, then righted for the rest of the time. Your Mom set the pace.
By: Akansas Patti on November 26, 2014
oh my- I amgoing to try doing this next time we cook a turkey....we're doing a ham this year! cheers and have a delicious dinner!
By: Kathe W. on November 26, 2014
I'm pretty fussy when it comes to turkey. Your turkey sounds like one I would really like.
By: red on November 26, 2014
I remember because last year I accidentally roasted our Thanksgiving turkey upside down. It was delicious. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on November 26, 2014
Just today, for the first time ever, I noticed a commercial on TV advising to roast the turkey upside down for the first hour or so. And now I just remembered...I forgot to get bourbon! It's always something...if not the bourbon, then the cranberry sauce.
By: Pixel Peeper on November 26, 2014
I'm drooling here.. and we're half way between our own Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Stephen.
By: Hilary on November 26, 2014
A Classic indeed! Mouthwatering also. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and to your legion of Chatterbox readers and friends.
By: Tom Cochrun on November 26, 2014
I will have to try this. Hopefully, the day AFTER Thanksgiving wasn't too bad for her... Cat
By: Cat on November 27, 2014
Whoa, we just heard on Food Network the other day that a turkey should be roasted upside-down for the first half of the cooking cycle. We had never heard of such a thing before, and here you are proving their point!
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on November 27, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
By: The Bug on November 27, 2014
Since SWMBO expressed her distaste for dark meat, we've always just roasted a turkey breast. I love it, too, and the onion and sausage dressing with sage tops it all off perfectly. I trust you had a great Turkey Day, as I did.
By: Catalyst on November 27, 2014
I read that somewhere in a turkey tips sort of magazine article..I have to say I always thought it was hog wash...or turkey wash, so to say...but anyway..I just may have to give it a year..I hope you had a lovely holiday!
By: Coloring Outside the Lines on November 28, 2014
That is the first time I've ever read anything about cooking the Turkey this way. A Fun read and I hope your Thanksgiving was great, Stephen!
By: Michael Manning on November 29, 2014
Hope your Thanksgiving was a smashing success!
By: Daniel LaFrance on December 7, 2014

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