Did I almost destroy us all?

I made turkey this year for Christmas dinner.  Not a full turkey, I know my limits, but a full turkey breast, which I figure is pretty darn good for me, all things considered.  Those ‘all things’ include that I was a vegetarian for 8 years and Paul for 15 — in other words, neither of us are particularly knowledgeable in the preparation of meat.

When I was pregnant with Kate and overseas, I became pretty seriously anemic.  Actually, between you and me, I think I’m still struggling with this whole anemia thing, but that’s another story.  In any case, the iron issue was what brought me back to meat in the first place (it was easier than going out of my way to find soy products in Peru).  But it was at least a year until I got the courage to actually cook meat myself.

Now when I cook meat, I do so almost exclusively with the crockpot.  It’s just hard to screw things up and I feel confident that everything is cooked through without being too dry.  So, naturally, when I considered cooking turkey, I gravitated toward recipes that involve a crock pot.

So we’re talking to my Mom and Paul mentioned my newly found turkey cooking skills.  How DARN GOOD that Christmas turkey from the crock pot was — with the added perks of how great the house smelled all day, that the kids loved it, and how he was just thrilled as can be that we had three more meals of it tucked away in the freezer.  The compliments went right to my head and I threw in how easy it was… cut herbs from the porch, juiced some lemons, marinated everything overnight, and then put it all in the crock pot to cook all day.

My Mother, Goodness Bless Her, picked right up on something.  She quickly called her girlfriends to gain support.  Then with the voices of Two Seasoned Cooks behind her, she reported to me that I committed Serious Culinary Sin.  Apparently, one NEVER cooks poultry in it’s marinade.


This is what the recipe* said:

Place turkey, skin side down, in a large leakproof food storage bag or a nonreactive (glass or ceramic) dish. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over turkey, turning to coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours, or overnight. Place turkey and marinade in the crockot; cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or until tender.

A similar recipe is here, too.

My Mother has never really recovered from the trauma of realizing that I make far superior chocolate chip cookies**, so I take her critique with a grain of salt.

But she is my Mom*** and has our best interests in mind.  (By ‘best interests’ I mean more than maintaining that my children only eat meals that she prepares.)  So, I appeal to the experts of the internet: is the recipe above one for good turkey, or gastro-intestinal illness?


* I should note that I deviated from the recipe considerably, as I always do.  (I fear that I do not follow directions well.)  I added broth.  I wouldn’t know a dry wine from a glass of water, so I used the only bottle of wine in the house (it was a chardonnay, which I assume is a white wine because it wasn’t red colored).  I used more wine than the recipe called for, as well as more herbs.  I added salt (a lot, because I know you’re suppose to have a lot of salt in a brine) and peppercorns, also because I hear they are popular when you cook turkey.  I didn’t have Dijon mustard in the house (I think mustard is foul) so I used a dried mustard powder that I have on hand because it works good with several tofu dishes we cook.   I have no idea if any of what I have done matters in whether or not what I served was deadly.

** Yes.  I make one seriously awesome chocolate chip cookie.

*** In all seriousness, my Mother is an excellent, Excellent(!) cook.