Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dinner in Three Downs


saskmont football

I feed my dog what's called a BARF diet. That doesn't mean I'm hoping to get her on the next Twitter feed to become a CBS series -- "$#*! My Dog $#*!s".

It stands for Biological Appropriate Raw Food. It's what she'd eat if she didn't have a human buying her kibble and cans of dog food. And that means eating what she was designed to consume.

Similarly there is Food Appropriate for a Grey Cup Party.

Munchies for football games used to mean dumping a big bag of chips in a bowl, peeling the top off a container of onion dip, tossing burgers on the grill or brewing up a pot of chili. And there's nothing wrong with any of that good stuff.

But the Grey Cup is not only the always exciting football game the Superbowl wishes it could be; it's a game that crowns champions, so you might want to think about stepping up the menu a little.

Now, I'm what's known in polite company as a "damn good cook", so take my word for what follows…

There's a butcher near my home who combines and packages the BARF my dog eats. And coincidentally, he's one of a large and growing number of butchers who can also supply the perfect main course for your Grey Cup Party. It's known as Turducken.


Okay, any dish which includes "Turd" and "Uck" in its name may not sound appetizing. But I guarantee that once you have savored Turducken, you will not only have achieved gourmet Nirvana but nobody will ever turn down an invitation to one of your Grey Cup parties again.

Turducken is a boneless chicken coated in dressing and inserted into a boneless duck coated in a different dressing before both are then inserted into a boneless Turkey coated in its own special dressing.

It's incredibly simple to cook. But unless you're Julia Child or you just want to have all of your fingers for game day, I'd recommend leaving the prep to a professional.

Which means, because of the work involved, you'll need to order one from a butcher by tomorrow to ensure it's on hand for your guests. Market prices prevail, but on average 20-25 pounds of meat and the trimmings will set you back about $100. And. Well. Worth. Every. Dollar.

If that breaks the bank, ask you guests to chip in a few bucks for something special. They'll think it's Pizza or a half-time stripper. But they won't be disappointed when they see what you really got for them.

25 pounds will feed about 30 people so scale back or expand accordingly.

Once you've collected your bird(s) you can go all Redneck Christmas and deep fry it in the backyard.


But the traditional oven at 350 and 20 minutes a pound will ensure you also have your eyebrows come kick-off. Allow another hour to cool before serving. So time it to come out of the oven just before the game starts for service during the half-time show.

For those who want to start from scratch or get creative, the best Turducken recipe I know can be found here.

Another feature of Turducken is you don't have to buy any special beverages to augment the dish. The multiple flavors mean it goes with anything, the twelve year old scotch you've been hoarding for the big day or the six pack of light beer one of your buddies brought.

And if your butcher has never heard of Turducken, educate him with the clip below and then get on with a Grey Cup party that will be as memorable as the Roughrider win -- or make you still feel satisfied if -- you know -- the other guys -- happen to -- well…

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