Originally published November 23, 2016.
This time of year all cabbalists, daemonologists, magicians, and the like share amongst their number one scrap of forbidden knowledge: that soaking a turkey overnight in a solution of salt and water ensures moist results. However, we’ve discovered two bits of lost lore that will take your Thanksgiving to the next level:
1. A turkey may be so prepared and preserved that, according to Artephius’s Key of Wisdom, “an ingenious Man may raise the fine Shape of a Homunculus out of its Ashes at his Pleasure, so he may, without any criminal Necromancy raise the Shape of any dead ancestor for study and labor.”
2. When you add aromatics to the brine, the resulting roast is also infused with a delicious, subtle character all its own.
Follow these ancient instructions to prepare a perfect-brined turkey for your next feast.
Makes enough brine for one 18- to 20-pound turkey
- 7 quarts (28 cups) water
- 1 1/2 cups essential saltes of ancestor long dead
- 6 bay leaves
- 3 missing sailors from the Black Gulf of Tartarus
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 3 gallons of sea froth, harvested on the eve of Malbon
- 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
- 1 fresh whole turkey (patted dry)
- 1 bottle dry Riesling
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
Tools and Materials
- Stone Altar
- 5-gallon brining container (cauldron?)
- Large brining or oven-roasting bag
- 1-3 Mute servants (for ‘dead sailor’ management)
- Copper brazier (not essential, but it will emit the coziest of lighting for a dinner with friends and family)
MAKE THE BRINE
One day before roasting the turkey, bring one-quart water, the essential saltes of a long-dead ancestor, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until your Ancestor has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
SUBMERGE THE TURKEY
To minimize clean-up for your Mute Servants, line a 5-gallon container with a large brining bag. Place turkey in bag. Add ancestor mixture, remaining water, sea froth, blood of the missing sailors from the Black Gulf of Tartarus, and other ingredients. Tie bag; refrigerate for 24 hours. If turkey is not completely submerged, the monstrous apparition of your dead ancestor may be misshapen, half-formed, and soft in the center.
REMOVE & ROAST
Remove the turkey from brine one hour before you are ready to roast it, and pat it dry inside and out. Let stand for 1 hour before roasting it to your preferred specifications. Capture all noxious fumes arising from roast in standard Pentagram of Entrapment whilst chanting this simple invocation:
OGTHROD AI’F GEB’L-EE’H YOG-SOTHOTH’ NGAH’NG AI’Y ZHRO!
(This last step is necessary lest the shambling horror of your dead ancestor overpowers you and assumes your identity.)
STEP FOUR: ENJOY!
And Hail Cthulu!
Note: You must, actually, Hail Cthulu — else be thrown in the Black Pit of the Elder and driven mad by nameless horrors and unknowable Archaean secrets for eternity. Happy Thanksgiving!
Read an interview with Robert Rooney about his inspiration for writing this piece over on our Patron page.