I nearly fell out of my chair when a colleague urged turkey meat tastes higher than hen. Style is subjective, however nonetheless, the clear neutrality of hen is extra scrumptious (and versatile) than the gamey undertones you get with turkey. On the threat of heresy, I’m of the opinion Thanksgiving dinner is the least appetizing of American holidays. For the previous few years, I’ve satisfied my household to roast chickens as an alternative (with lemon, herbs and butter), and we haven’t regarded again since.
But when the traditionalists clamor loud sufficient and demand a turkey, I counsel an sudden supply: Popeyes.
Primarily identified for its top-notch fried hen and biscuits, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen gives a 10-12 pound turkey every vacation season pre-rubbed with Cajun spicing (it’s obtainable via December for $40). Most tasty is that this flash-fried turkey arrives frozen however pre-cooked, and after thawing in your fridge, solely requires 90 minutes within the oven for the fowl to warmth via. This alone makes it a perfect emergency turkey within the occasion of a kitchen cataclysm (there are even directions for roasting from frozen). However “emergency turkey” implies an inferior, much less fascinating possibility, and Popeye’s turkey will doubtless style higher than something you roast this Thursday.
Out of the packaging, the turkey is splotched with random crusts of spices (elements listed embody salt, purple peppers, the legally imprecise “spices,” dehydrated garlic, and butter flavoring). Cooking was easy—place in shallow tray with a half cup of water, cowl turkey in foil, then roast at 350 levels for 90 minutes.
What got here out of the oven was ugly as hell: a grey, sodden, flaccid mass with zero crispness to the pores and skin, like a unclean deflated basketball (smarter cooks would roast the turkey uncovered, on excessive, for 10 further minutes). However I used to be by no means one to correlate the aesthetic qualities of meat with its deliciousness, and this turkey exceeded expectations.
The inside breast meat was incomparably juicy, a moistness often solely completed by way of brining. That flabby moist pores and skin? It had respectable zing and warmth, with a citrus vinegary tang and residual burn. However what gained me over was that, impossibly, it didn’t style very similar to turkey meat. I’m unsure if my palate was overpowered by the assertive spicing, however my thoughts acknowledged the flavors as nearer to darkish meat hen. (Although it’s not a part of the directions, we heated the pan juices, whisked in butter, and squeezed the juice of half a lemon to make a zippy pan sauce.)
Positive, this turkey doesn’t include the sentimentality of your property smelling like rosemary and sage, or eradicating the stuffing from the cavity, or relations preventing for that crisp and brittle flap of pores and skin. However from a pure taste and practicality perspective, Popeyes has carried out a public service, saving People from wasted kitchen prep time and the scourge of dry, gamey meat.