This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for MSG and the bulk order of Costco toilet paper sitting in my bathroom.
However, my friends and family will probably say “no thanks” at the dinner table if I serve a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos turkey.
Although I’ve never cooked a turkey before, I’m planning on celebrating the holidays with friends – and I thought, what better way to spice up a traditional turkey than with a popular snack?
Reynolds – the aluminum foil brand – shared a recipe for it Turkey covered in Flamin Hot Cheetos with its turkey oven bags.
While it might not be for everyone, I couldn’t say no to the wild, albeit unconventional, festival idea.
I have my Oven bags from Target With a few clicks, I made a quick shopping trip to get the Cheetos, a roasting pan, and a small turkey.
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After reading through the Reynolds recipe, I was surprised at how few instructions there really were for preparing the bird.
But I couldn’t stop, cold turkey before I even started.
I decided to follow the recipe as closely as possible, and if all else failed, I could at least blame the Reynolds recipe writer when I told the story.
After preheating my oven to 350 degrees, I placed a large bag of Flamin’ Hot snacks in a Ziploc bag and set about crushing the chips into crumbs with a rolling pin.
Next, I rinsed my bird thoroughly, patted it with paper towels, and coated it with cooking oil.
I considered the best way to cover the turkey with the Cheetos crumbs, but quickly realized there was no way around manually rubbing in the chip dust.
I dumped stacks of Cheetos onto the turkey and did my best to paint every inch of it orange.
My biggest mistake was not wearing gloves – unfortunately, even after washing them several times with soap, my hands were still orange.
Next, I added a tablespoon of flour to the baking bag and gave it a good shake to prevent the turkey from sticking.
After placing the turkey in the bag, I sealed it with the included zip tie and cut six half-inch diameter holes in it for ventilation.
I baked the 7-pound turkey for about an hour and a half, following the guidelines of more advanced turkey cookers.
I took it out of the oven, drained the excess liquid from the bag and put it back in for another 20 minutes to get a crispier coating.
The angry orange turkey looked intimidating and, frankly, scary on my kitchen island—but I persisted nonetheless.
Finally it was time for the taste test. A knife, fork, and a few bites later, I was pleasantly surprised by the kick the Cheeto coating gave the turkey.
I had high hopes for the turkey and expected it to be something externally similar to turkey with breadcrumbs or stuffing.
In places where the Cheetos had formed some sort of topping, the chip crunch provided the breading I envisioned.
Unsurprisingly, most of it simply tasted like turkey, but the flavor of Flamin’ Hot Cheeto was unmistakable and distinguishable.
My final verdict: 8/10. Would try again.
I definitely wouldn’t make it to a family Thanksgiving feast (I can only imagine Mom, Dad, and Grandma’s horrified reactions), but I would try the turkey again.
I could imagine re-embodying the unique bird for a whimsical Friendsgiving meal, a laugh, and a chance to stretch some legs.