Spatchcock and Succotash

Written By: Tipsy Table - Nov• 27•14

turkey 2Thanksgiving morning finds ovens across America warming to welcome Meleagris gallopavo, the winged creature Benjamin Franklin once fought for as our nascent republic’s official emblem. Alas, the noble turkey lost out to the Bald Eagle, relegating the bird to the center of the table for the holiday that signifies pig skin football and pig out feasts. National Turkey Federation statistics report American’s consume 200 million turkeys each year, 25% of those during the Thanksgiving holidays.

Over the years Tipsy Table has noticed more roast turkey recipes giving credence to “spatchcocking.” This technique involves removing the backbone and flattening the bird, also known as “butterflying.” Our “guy with the bow tie” Christopher Kimball, even debones the thigh and leg bone, trusses, and roasts which makes the carving quite simple. We found this excellent “how to” article on Serious Eats:

Turkey 3The esteemed food editor of the New York Times, Mark Bittman, is credited for popularizing the spatchcock technique early in this 21st century. Roasting the bird in 45 minutes, he demonstrated it an easy way to save time and free the oven for other baked sides and desserts. According to Google Trends, and with the help of Mr. Bittman and other food gurus, spatchcocking is on the rise with a major spike in 2012.

Now for the traditional, non-trending Thanksgiving fare—succotash. The word originates in the Narragansett language, sohquttahhash, meaning “broken corn kernels.” This simple dish, combining a legume with a grain,  is high in all essential amino acids. In eastern and southern parts of this country, it is a staple on the Thanksgiving table.

succotashAlthough other vegetables are sometimes added to this dish, we found this recipe in our 1926 edition of the White House Cookbook, originally published in 1894:

“Take a pint of fresh shelled Lima beans, or any large fresh beans, and put them in a pot with cold water, rather more than will cover them. Scrape the kernels from twelve ears of young sweet corn; put the cobs in with the beans, boiling from half to three-quarters of an hour. Now take out the cobs and put in the scraped corn; boil again fifteen minutes then season with salt and pepper to taste, a piece of butter the size of an egg and a half a cup of cream. Serve hot.”

Oops, forgot to look at the clock.   As Warner Brothers Sylvester© the cat might say: “Sufferin’ Succotash, it’s time to spatchcock the turkey.”

Happy Thanksgiving from Tipsy Table.turkey 1


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