I’ve had a thing about raw fowl flesh for as long as I can remember. We used to have chickens when I was little and THE worst job in the world, even worse that collecting the green horned tomato worms, was getting stuck doing the chickens. The chopping their heads off. The blood. The smell of the boiling water on their feathers and the plucking, plucking, plucking. Makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Every time Thanksgiving rolls around, I have a few uncomfortable moments while I think about how gross it is to touch the turkey and then Joe looks at my face and says he’ll take care of it. Phew. Ok. Crisis averted.

This year, I watched non-stop cooking shows on TV for about a month leading up to Thanksgiving and I kept watching how it was no big deal, this touching the raw turkey thing. Those television people just toss it around like it’s no big thing and salt it and butter it and put their fingers under the top layer of skin and put herbs in it and stuff the butt cavity with whatever and I almost had myself convinced that I could do it this year. Almost.

And then it was 9am on Tday morning and Joe was upstairs sleeping and I didn’t want to wake him and the turkey needed to get in the oven and I grabbed that organic, free-range 22 pound turkey from Whole Foods out of the fridge and tossed it in the sink. I looked at it. Considered it. Poked it.

And then the most amazing thing happened. It was like I was watching the TV. My Primal Cook skills came out and I rinsed, dried, seasoned and trussed that sucker like nobody’s business. Then I popped it in the oven and by the time Joe got downstairs it had already been cooking for an hour.

Amazingly, it turned quite delicious. I’ve decided the answer is to always watch more television.

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  1. Major props for you. Thats the best turkeyday story I have heard yet. I’m glad that it turned out well. My turkey was still frozen when we sat down to eat!

  2. You and I had very similar fowl experiences as kids. That wet feather smell is the WORST. I remember seeing dead, skinned chickens in my kitchen sink, twitching. TWITCHING. Anyway, I’ve been lurking for a while; I thought this was a good chance to break the ice and say hi!

  3. that is what i must do then, watch more tv so i can handle meats. i hate meats.

    i am sorry you had to do those chickens when you were little, not a good job for a wee one i’d say.

  4. The sound. The sound of the plucking. Almost like teeny little grotesque little suction cups mixed with a slight ripping noise. That’s what stays with me.

    I love your blog. I’ve followed it for nearly a year now and wanted to write you when you moved but didn’t want you to think I was an e-stalker. But I have related so closely to many of the things you’ve written that I just want to say Thank You. You are 8 different kinds of awesome with a giant dollop of brave and funny thrown in for good measure. Thank you.

  5. Congratulations on wrestling the bird!

    I’m curious…how much did you pay for your bird? Whole Foods is hella-expensive here. My turkey breast from there was $7.99 a pound.

  6. What your post brought back to me immediately were the smells of cleaning and plucking poultry.
    And, speaking of television, do you ever see the cleaning supply commercial where the woman is rubbing a quarter chicken over her counters and fridge?
    For some reason, that one just tickles my fancy.
    Makes me laugh every time.
    Even though the smell is pure evil death.
    Congratulations on addressing the bird!

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