Take Your Traditional Thanksgiving & Stuff It 2014 – Jalapeño BBQ Pulled Turkey

Well, Black Friday was a bummer today. Yes, money was spent at Sports Authority, Bodybuilding.com, and Title Boxing but my usual high hopes at Old Navy, ThinkGeek and Amazon were all a bust. A pretty hefty bust, too. It looks like I’m going to continue my yearly tradition of picking up Christmas gifts for friends and family at the various shops in downtown Knoxville, the Knoxville Holiday Market and Etsy which all yield better gifts anyway.

Speaking of continuing traditions, this post shall act as the third annual Take Your Traditional Thanksgiving & Stuff It. Celebrating the holiday with family has grown to be sort-of difficult so we’ve spent the last few years cooking up small meals and watching horror movies. A little more productive this year, we started yesterday by hitting the Knoxville Hot to Trot 5k and putting up some Christmas decorations (a special Halloween at Christmas that I’ll probably blog about soon) as well as a double feature in the movie department. A fun filled, belly-filling, achievement attaining holiday all in all.

Similar to last year I decided to go with pulled turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner but I went in a slightly different direction. A long time ago while on that weird juice cleanse I started having insane cravings that eventually turned into craving combos. I wrote some of these combos down on post-its at work and decided to try to make one a reality in the form of jalapeno bbq pulled turkey sandwiches using Red Lobster rip-off Cheddar Bay Biscuit buns. Sounded delicious so why not make it happen for Thanksgiving?

I started off by slow cooking four turkey thighs that I had rubbed with some salt, pepper, chili powder and garlic powder with about a cup of water. Set on low, cook for about 8 hours – tasty and simple. For the sauce, about an hour before dinner I combined the ingredients listed on Jalapeño BBQ Ribs recipe from Taste of Home and let it simmer and thicken while I worked on the rest. Damn Delicious provided the recipe for the biscuits that I put together after assembling Alton Brown’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Earlier in the day I put together what would be dessert: Eggnog Pumpkin Pie with Gingerbread Crust by paleOMG though it was slightly modified because I already had non-paleo items that were equivalent to the items listed in the recipe, plus we don’t practice a paleo diet anyway.

Verdict:

  • Pulled Turkey BBQ Sandwiches weren’t really sandwiches because my biscuits weren’t really thick enough to make “buns” out of so I served them as separate items. Later on I decided that it would’ve been possible to use two biscuits, each acting as a single bun of the sandwich but that was after the fact and no help at all.
  • Jalapeño BBQ Sauce was very easy and was super tasty, sticking to the turkey way better than last year’s cranberry bbq sauce I attempted.
  • Cheddar Bay Biscuits were incredibly tasty and are a valid rip-off of Red Lobster’s heavenly version. One slight, tiny little itty bitty complaint: The recipe called for a bit of cayenne and I think this made my biscuits have a tiny little bit of spice that I wasn’t crazy about. Still tolerable, though, and honestly the recipe said it was optional AND I just eyeballed the amount so I only have myself to blame.
  • Baked Macaroni and Cheese was a little involved but was worth the effort. If it has Alton’s name on it you can pretty much guarantee it’s good and if it isn’t then you probably did something wrong.
  • Eggnog Pumpkin Pie was the first actual pumpkin pie I’d ever made which freaked me out a little but excited me as well. The last time I “made” a pie crust didn’t turn out well so I was nervous this would be the same but it actually turned out great! The crust is a little thicker and crunchier than I’m used to but it gave it more of a gingerbread cookie feel anyway, plus the filling was simple to make, definitely tasted like pumpkin pie but also had a great eggnog flavor. I highly recommend this recipe!

As previously stated, our entertainment portion of the day included a double feature of food-inspired horror cinema beginning with 1985’s The Stuff; A story about a sweet, addictive substance found coming out of the ground that is later marketed heavily and ingested by the masses, turning eaters (or Stuffies) into zombies controlled by their unending desire to eat it. The film, while cheesy, makes a great statement about consumerism which makes the film work well not only as a foodie movie but also a nice Black Friday preparation movie!

Next was the 2013 remake of the 2010 (too soon?) Mexican film We Are What We Are that follows a man and his daughters as they live a sheltered and revolting life as religious cannibals. With a sort-of slow build-up, the “payoff”, if you will, during the last 1/4 of the movie is well worth your time and patience. Sort of makes you want to burp and ask “What’s for dessert?”

So now two years of pulled turkey in a row. I guess I’ll have to get more creative next year? I can guarantee you we won’t be having a regular Thanksgiving spread, else I’d have to rename my post and it’s easier to be creative in the kitchen than in the blog. I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday weekend!

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