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Eric Schaefer's Phlegm-y Thanksgiving and His Turkey Recipe

This year we're giving thanks to some of our favorite writers for sharing tales of Thanksgiving woes -- and joys. Today our typically acerbic friend Eric Schaefer shares a heart-warming story of friendship. Really.

My favorite Thanksgiving memory doesn't involve food, family, football or that damn dog show on television hosted by the guy who played J. Peterman on Seinfeld.

Sure, I cook a mean bird thanks to an apple cider brine recipe given to me by a friend, but the Thanksgiving story I tell most often involves me never even leaving my bedroom....or bed.

Get Eric's turkey tricks after the jump.

I was a junior in high school, and completely flattened by a horrible sinus infection. I couldn't breathe, my ears were clogged, I had a fever and basically felt as if I'd rather be slaughtered like a turkey than actually eat one. I opted to stay home, while the rest of my family went to my aunt's house for a decadent Thanksgiving feast.

At about 8 pm my phone rang, and it was my best friend Kaine. He was leaving his Thanksgiving dinner and had taken a plate full of leftovers to bring me for dinner. He came over; brought me dinner in bed, and sat with me while I alternated between eating dinner and hacking-up balls of phlegm.

To this day, I still consider him my best friend. Although I don't see him often enough, he is still my go-to friend when I'm in need. As far as friends go, he's pretty damn reliable, and proved that long ago.

Kaine may be a great friend, but I still make a better turkey and here is the recipe. Provided that you buy a turkey of good quality (I have never tried it with "heritage" turkey, but may try it this year), here is a fail-safe recipe for an amazing turkey that is juicy and full of flavor.

Actually, I don't even like turkey, but I crave this recipe all year.

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I prefer to brine mine for about 24 - 36 hours. Keep it very cold, but not frozen, during the brining process. Initially cooking the turkey breast-side down, at high heat, ensures even cooking and a thoroughly juicy bird.

But let's face it, the dark meat is where it's at. I always snag a wing before I present the bird to the table. It never ceases to amaze me that we could land a man on the moon but no one has been able to genetically engineer an all-dark-meat turkey. Clearly, society's priorities are totally screwed-up.

Happy Thanksgiving. May your holiday season be full of happiness, health, family and great food.

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