Scary Good Eats: Thanksgiving Dinner-Pricewise

“Let the board groan, let the belly bulge, let our hearts be thankful-lest we forget what our ancestors went through to achieve that first Thanksgiving. The fullness of our fields and fruit trees, of our dairies and hatcheries load the table and this is a day for family and friends to make welcome the stranger.”

So speak the words penned by one of horror’s true icons, Vincent Price, in his marvelous tome A Treasury of Great Recipes. As a longtime admirer of Mister Price’s legendary work in my favorite genre of entertainment, I was greatly interested to learn he was also a man of exquisite taste as a lover of fine food and cooking. But it also made a great deal of sense, since as a world renowned star of screen, stage, and radio, Mister Price would have had abundant opportunity to visit many of the most famous eateries known round the globe, and to sample the finest fare they had to offer. It is with this shared love of fine food and dining that I delve into my copy of this magnificent cookbook to share Mister Price’s decadent recipe for roast turkey and invite all my fellow horror fanatics to replicate this wonderful recipe for their coming Thanksgiving dinner.

This particular recipe comes from the Wayside Inn of Massachusetts. Before we can prepare the bird, we must make the stuffing. While you can substitute with a pre-made, store bought stuffing, the Wayside Inn’s recipe has a rustic, old world quality that cannot be replicated.

To begin, trim the excess fat from one pound of pork shoulder. Grind this into a fine crumble using a hand cranked or electrical meat grinder. Prepare a spice mix of 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1 teaspoon dried crumbled sage. Give this a thorough mix, or even more preferable, a firm grinding in a pestle mortar. Add the spice mixture to your ground pork and knead thoroughly.

For the next step of the stuffing, thoroughly dice 2 stalks of celery and 2 onions. In a pan, melt 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) of butter and then fry your celery and onions until caramelized. Add in your sausage mix and fry until cooked. Into this mixture at 1 cup of cooked chicken and 1 cup cooked ham.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and pour over 6 cups of large grain bread crumbs, such as Panko. Add in 4 eggs, lightly beaten, 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon mace, 1 teaspoon marjoram, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth and knead into a stuffing.

Now, to prepare the turkey! The elegance of this turkey recipe is in its simplicity, before the days brining, frying, or plastic bags. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub the inside of a 12 pound turkey with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stuff the body and neck with your prepared stuffing. Place your turkey breast-side up into a shallow pan and truss the winds and legs close to the body.  Brush the turkey with 1/2 cup of melted butter and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Place two slices of bacon across the breast. Into your roasting pan with the turkey pour 2 cups of water and add in 1 whole onion pierced with 3 whole cloves, 1 stalk of chopped celery and 2 chopped carrots, 2 bay leaves, 5 sprigs of fresh parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. The ideal roasting time for your turkey will be 10-20 minutes per pound.  Baste your turkey every 30 minutes with the pan liquid.

As a final step, while your turkey is cooking, simmer the giblets (neck, wing tips, kidneys, etc) in 1 quart of water for two hours. Once your turkey is prepared, strain the liquid from the roasting pan and let the fat rise to the surface. Return 6 tablespoons or the fat to the pan. Stir in 6 tablespoons of flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring in all the scrapings from the bottom and sides of the pan. Stir in 3 cups of your prepared turkey broth from the giblets and cook, stirring until your gravy is thickened and smooth.

As your final touch to crown this delicious recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to play the final laugh track from the Thriller music video/album as you sink your fork into the tender, juicy meat of turkey and offer up a brief thanks to the immortal Vincent Price!

 

Posted by Daniel Ryan

I am a 36 year old man from New Jersey with a lifelong passion for horror, science fiction, true crime, and cryptozoology. I will do my utmost to be a worthwhile contributor to House of Tortured Souls.

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