When one Jeff Brinker starts talking drum cooking, you drop everything and listen. He is a level 27 Gateway Can Wizard with infinite hit points, a 16 in charisma and a 22 in dexterity. When one Jeff Brinker decides to give you the bird and talk turkey, you drop everything and start cooking.
To be fair, this recipe is just a legend. I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another friend who heard it from Brinker himself that it was possible to make a moist, lightly smoked turkey with crisp, flavorful skin . Like a yeti or the Loch Ness monster, it is something you talk about over a few beers and a warm fire, but never really acknowledge that it exists. It excites you a little, but scares you a touch at the same time. Truth or legend, just in time for the holiday season, I present to you the Big Boy Brinker Dirty Birdie ®. Just make it and thank him later. If he is real.
You will need:
One bird. The bigger the better. We are men and demand big meat.
Brine: 1 cup of salt and 2 cups of brown sugar dissolved in 1 gallon of apple juice
Rub: 2 sticks of butter, softened, 1/4 cup of Smokin’ Guns Hot and 1/4 cup brown sugar smooshed together to from a sweet, Guns hot butter paste
a crap load of bacon
a Gateway Drum running around 275 degrees with a pan of water loaded up on the bottom rack. For a special treat, load the pan with a cheap ass blush wine (saving a large glass for you wife, of course). Use a few chunks of your favorite wood. Apple seems to work well for this application.
Brine the bird overnight. Drain, rinse and pat dry.
Rub the seasoned butter all over the bird making sure you get some under the skin of the breast. This is the good stuff. If you double down on the Guns hot butter paste, I will not judge.
Put that bird on the Gateway breast side up for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes your breast skin will have a little color, so it is time to lay on the bacon. Cover up that breast with the slabs of porcine perfection and don’t be shy. Trust me, it can take it. Slap the lid back on and continue to cook your bird until your trusty thermopen reads 155-160 in the breast and around 175 in the thigh.
Pull it out and wrap in foil for a 30 minute rest. Slice and serve.
*Pro tip – save that neck bone and giblet package that they so kindly stuff in the bird and toss them into a quart or two of store bought chicken broth with an onion and a couple of carrots. Simmer gently while the bird cooks. Caramelize some onions in a bunch of butter, toss in some sage, rosemary and garlic and stir until it becomes fragrant and then mix in some flour to form a paste. Strain your newly made turkey stock and whisk into your onion paste. Season with salt and pepper and add about a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar. Simmer until your gravy looks like gravy and serve with your bird. Christ, I’m hungry.