This year we're going ultra-traditional for our Christmas celebration, and what better way to do that than to pay homage to the holiday's pagan roots. And as good Christians we all know the roots of that paganism is SATAN.
Baking Temp: 350°
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 3-6 hrs
(check for your turkey size)
1 Mid-Size Turkey
1 Small Cornish Hen
2 Smoked Turkey Wings
1 Bunch Thyme
1 Bunch Sage
1 Bunch Rosemary
1 lb Asparagus
1 & 1/2 Cups Butter
4 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp. Garlic Salt
1 Tbsp. Cracked Pepper
1 Tbsp. Paprika
2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp. Dried Minced Garlic
1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp. Celery Seed
1 Tsp. Dried Parsley
STEP ONE - Get a Bird
The first thing you want to do is get your turkey in a greased pan. Remove the neck and giblets and anything else you don't want to eat. I like to the leave the flap of neck skin (if present) for a little visual flourish later on, but this is not necessary.
Don't worry about tucking the legs because we will not be doing that with this recipe. If your turkey's feet were bound, remove the binding.
Your turkey should be fully thawed, so if you bought it frozen make sure to look up defrost instructions well ahead of time. It can take several days in a refrigerator before your turkey is ready to cook.
STEP TWO - Prepping For Seasoning
The next step is separating the skin.
After washing your hands thoroughly, slide one of them up under the skin starting at the base of the breastplate and working your way up toward the neck and shoulders of the bird. Carefully spread your fingers as you go and try to separate the skin from the meat in this area as thoroughly as you can without splitting the skin.
STEP THREE - Seasoning The Sacrifice
After thoroughly washing your hands again it's time to show this bird how we really feel about all this.
Melt down a stick of butter (1/2 Cup) and drizzle it over the top of the turkey while using your other hands to massage it in and get it in every crevice of that skin you just lifted. Or take pictures with your phone. Your choice.
Now it's time to introduce it to our friends the lemons, and another stick of butter. Cut the lemons in half and select the two halves with the largest protruding "nipple". It doesn't matter if they are slightly different in size. It never has. Slide these lemon halves up under the skin to the top of the breasts.
Now you can go ahead and cut the other lemon halves into small wedges, about 8 per half should do the trick. Slice the butter into small tabs. Reserving four butter tabs for later, distribute the rest of the lemon wedges and butter tabs under the skin of the turkey, taking special care to get a few under the skin around the thighs and drumsticks of the bird.
Now you can take your black pepper, garlic salt, garlic powder, minced garlic, parsley, celery seed and paprika and mix them up. The butter you poured on earlier has probably cooled and congealed by now, so you're going to want to dust this on rather than rub it in. This is to prevent your seasonings from clumping. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the mix for later.
Finally we're going to add our most important seasoning - the smoked turkey wings. We want to nest these around the turkey in the pan, tucking the drumettes to give the appearance of a single mutant bird. It may seem like a purely aesthetic touch, but as we baste the turkey later the smoke from the wings will add a ton of flavor to the glaze.
STEP FOUR - Something is Missing
We all know that if we want to call something satanic it needs to have more than just some wonky lemon tits.
It needs an infant sacrifice.
Unfortunately our taste-tests have proved time and again that actual baby chickens taste like nothing but yellow fluff and panicked cheep-cheeps, so we've opted to have our turkey virgin-still-birthing a beautiful cornish hen instead.
Most of this is just a repeat of what you did to the turkey, miniaturized, but you must be much more careful with the skin, which is not nearly as resilient or pliable as the turkey's.
Using half of your remaining lemon and the reserved butter tabs, stuff the hen under the skin as before then dust with the remaining seasoning powder mix. Good jobbies.
STEP FIVE - Unification
Stuff that little sucker inside the big one! You know where!
Following behind the last step, begin inserting your fresh herbs in the various nooks and crannies between your two birds. You'll want to keep your sage mostly intact, break up the rosemary, and reserve some of the thyme to break up on top. Make sure to get a bit of each each under the skin in each area of the turkey, especially making sure all are present across the turkey's breast. Once your herbs have all been added you can do the same thing with your asparagus spears, reserving most for the inside of the cornish hen. If you save the neck flap on your turkey, you can tuck some asparagus in there too.
STEP SIX - Finishing Touches
Place your precious little abomination in the oven and let that sucker roast. We're going to let it roast for about 1/3 of its total cook time before basting, but while we do that we're going to prep the glaze. Squeeze your remaining lemon half into a pan with your last stick of butter, cayenne pepper and maple syrup, heat until the butter is melted and the other elements are well mixed.
When your timer is up pour about half of the glaze over your turkey. Put it back in the oven and add 5 minutes to your total cook time. Wait 30 minutes then pour the remaining glaze over it, again adding 5 minutes to the total cook time. After you've finished off your glaze, continue basting the turkey every 30 minutes, now using the smokey, lemony juices in the pan. Remember to add 5 minutes to your total cook time each time you baste, to account for the reheating of the oven.
STEP 7 - The Dark One Will Be Pleased
When the meaty part of your turkey's thigh has reached an internal temperature of 165° it is time to take it out of the oven, behold, and enjoy. Discard the lemon slices and wedges as you slice the breast, keeping the skin as intact as possible. Quickly grab a drummy off the Cornish hen before your guests realize it is there.
Merry Christmas. Hail Satan.