Fuck Turkey


Thanksgiving is in eight days. We all know what this means. In eight days from now, we’re going to sit around a table with a lot of people we like and some we even love and also sometimes hate and we’re going to eat a big meal, which is going to center around one thing: turkey.

Fuck turkey.

Turkey is not a good-tasting bird. Fuck turkey for not even tasting as good as fucking bland-ass chicken, which is a pretty low bar to begin with. Fuck turkey for not tasting anywhere near as good as duck, with its tender as hell breast meat which stays succulent thanks to being able to baste in its own delicious fat. And I’m not even going to talk about how good duck leg confit is because then I’ll just start getting mad at how mediocre the turkey leg confit was that I made one Thanksgiving in a last ditch effort to redeem it by making turkey finally taste ok and then after all that time prepping and cooking, guess what that turkey tasted like: just ok. Fuck turkey because the way that people try to make it taste better is by stuffing it with a duck and a chicken and that is basically a crime against poultry because then you’re ruining a perfectly great duck and perfectly good chicken with a layer of turkey. Fuck turkey.

Fuck turkey because not only does most of its water-bloated 16 pounds (the average weight of a Thanksgiving bird) have the taste and texture of a cotton swab, but also the rest of it—the good part, the dark meat—has way too high a tendon-to-edible meat ratio to be worth what a pain in the ass it is to carve properly. Fuck turkey legs, particularly those monstrosities served at Disneyworld that are literally the most disgusting thing to eat in, if not America, at least Disneyworld, which has plenty of other questionable food items. Fuck turkey because fuck America and its industrial farm systems which have bred these birds to be so breast-heavy and dark meat-deprived that an already mediocre meat becomes plain awful. But also: fuck heritage turkeys which are prohibitively expensive and still not all that good. I’d rather have a Thanksgiving brisket. Why can’t I have a Thanksgiving brisket?

Fuck turkey because fuck tradition. Fuck turkey because it’s the Boston of birds, it’s been a part of America for so long that we have to pretend it’s not mediocre in every single way. (Because also, always and forever: Fuck Boston.) Fuck having to eat something just because it’s what everyone else is eating on this one day of the year and it’s what we’ve always eaten. There’s a lot of stuff that could be labeled as “tradition” in this world that can be told to go fuck itself, but instead of tackling all of that, let’s just tackle what else is on the Thanksgiving table. Fuck marshmallows on sweet potatoes. Ok, that’s it. Most of what’s on a Thanksgiving table is actually delicious. Which is all the more reason to say fuck turkey for ruining the whole thing.

Fuck turkey for taking up so much space and time in the oven that it makes it more difficult to make the side dishes which is all anyone even wants to eat anyway. Fuck the long-ass roasting time a turkey needs, and fuck all the fussy things we’re supposed to do to make turkey taste better. You know what will make turkey taste better? Not eating it and eating carnitas instead. Pork: now there’s a meat that always tastes good, all you need to do is throw it in a pot with some water and let it simmer for awhile. Perfection. The steps that need to be taken in order to make turkey palatable are endless and annoying and eventually ineffective as hell. Fuck brining. Fuck a wet brine. Fuck a dry brine. Fuck a brown paper bag. Fuck butter under the skin. Fuck “turketta.” Fuck deep-frying. Fuck sous-vide. Fuck sous-vide before deep-frying, because how much fucking time do you have to spend to make something that doesn’t taste good, taste ok? Too much fucking time, that’s how much.

Fuck all the recipes for turkey leftovers. You know why there are so many of those? Because there’s always so much leftover turkey. There aren’t a million recipes for leftover mashed potatoes, because there aren’t any leftover mashed potatoes because those are delicious and people eat them. Fuck a turkey sandwich that needs 14 other ingredients on it in order for it to taste good. You know what would taste good on that sandwich? Ham instead of turkey. Even Tofurkey would be better. That’s when you know it’s a bad meat, when the tofu alternative tastes as good as—or even better than—the actual meat does.

So, yeah: Fuck turkey. And fuck anyone who says: Well, then, you don’t have to eat it. Because, don’t worry, I won’t. I’ll be just fine with my plate of sides, all smothered in the one thing turkey is good for: Gravy. That shit is delicious.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen