Thanksgiving was fantastic, as usual. I am one to not take entertaining lightly, and my mommy dearest and I spent a couple seamless days in the kitchen together throwing everything together from scratch with very little panic.
I'm not a huge fan of turkey, but I belong to the school of thought that it's just not thanksgiving without one, and you might as well get the best free-range bird you can find. A little unorthodox, but I found that spatchcocking the bird and salting it a few days beforehand was a good move. I've only ever spatchcocked chickens, and the more robust turkey was a bit of a challenge. You cut out the backbone and then give it a good CPR-style thunk on the breast to break the breastbone, which flattens it into a more ideally cookable shape. Also, it looks completely obscene when it's on the roasting pan, which was amusing me to no end.
We didn't do it up on the grill this year, which meant the house was soon filled with thick black turkey grease smoke that the ancient stove hood couldn't even begin to suck up. The smoke detector was quickly disabled and it was warm enough out so windows could be comfortably opened. All was well. I used this recipe from Serious Eats (bookmark it for next year!) to help me on my way- A 12lb bird took only an hour and a half, and I added some cheap red wine to the roasting pan so it could steam in a bit of an alcohol vapor.
The wingtips were a little crispy, but it came out perfectly, with dark bronzed and crispy skin (just like the many denizens of Bay Ridge).
No one went hungry, and we ate well for days to come. It was warm enough to relax by the firepit out back without risking your derrière freezing over, and there was mulled cider and plenty of wine to warm your heart.