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Liberty Nation Recipes: Boneless Legislator Turkey

Editor’s Note: If you haven’t already noticed the Liberty Nation staff loves to have a little fun from time to time. So, this Thanksgiving we’d like to treat you to some of our very own – and very personal – political recipes. Today we begin with our Military Affairs correspondent Nathan Steelwater. Naturally, his recipe calls for a bird and a knife. But doggone if it doesn’t look like a great one to try.

If Ben Franklin had his way, the turkey would have taken the Bald Eagle’s place as the national bird. Instead, turkey stands as the centerpiece of our national feasting day. Thanksgiving Turkey is a deeply personal meal steeped in family tradition. From deep-fried to smoked, everyone has their own method.

Tired of the same old turkey? Feel free to appropriate the traditions of the Steelwater family. Steelwater turkey is much like Congressional legislators: boneless.


  • Whole turkey (size dependent on party size)
  • Prepared stuffing (3/4 cups of stuffing per pound of turkey)
  • Dry Rub (equal parts Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, and Paprika
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Butcher’s Twine
  • Skewers (optional)

Step 1: THAW THE TURKEY. Place the turkey in the refrigerator several days beforehand, allowing it to thaw like the icy relationship between you and the honorable Senator from wherever.

Step 2. PREHEAT. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Step 3: PREPARE THE STUFFING. Remove your turkey from the refrigerator and prepare your stuffing. Turkey stuffing is like legislation, it comes prepackaged in a mix made by your friendly neighborhood lobbyist. Follow the directions provided by the special interest group of your choice.

Step 4. CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON. While I recommend using a boning knife, whatever you last used for partisan backstabbing works. Just make sure it is sharp and maneuverable. Thin blades work best.

Step 5. DEBONE THE BIRD. Lay the bird on your cutting board breast side down. Remove any seasoning bags or excess pieces. With your thumb, find the backbone. Your first cut will be just to the right of that bone. Don’t cut your thumb.

Make an incision along the right side of the backbone, keeping the blade close to the bone. Begin working your way from back to breast, separating the flesh from the carcass. Make sure to keep your knife against the bone when you cut, preserving as much meat as possible.

As you work your way towards the breast, you will expose both the shoulder and hip joints. At the hip, find the joint between leg and hip and cut through, disconnecting the leg bone from the main carcass. Once complete, move to the shoulder.

As you approach the shoulder joint, there will be a long bone that is the turkey equivalent of the shoulder blade. You can see it in the first picture. Cut around this and follow it to the shoulder joint. Separate the joint and continue separating flesh from bone until you near the breastbone. Stop before you reach the crest of the breastbone.

The right side of the bird is now separated from the bone. Follow the same process with the left side and stop before you reach the breastbone.

At this point, the only connection between flesh and bone is at the breastbone. This is the thinnest part of the turkey so be careful! Cut through the cartilage and throw away the carcass. Take the time to trim excess cartilage. You now have a deboned turkey with wings and drums remaining.

Step 6. SEASON AND SEW. Lightly season the inside flesh with salt.Using butchers twine (and skewers if it helps) sew the bird back together, leaving an opening in the back to put the stuffing.

Step 7. STUFF THE BALLOT BOX. Fill the turkey with stuffing until it returns to a general turkey shape. Sew the opening shut, interlace the wings and drums together and tie them behind the back.

Step 8. SEASON. Rub unsalted butter on the outside of the turkey and lightly season with the dry rub. Place the stuffed turkey in a roasting pan breast side up.

Step 9. ROAST. Roast the turkey at 450 Degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and roast for about 10 minutes per pound of original turkey weight. Once the internal temperature of the breast meat reaches 165 degrees F, remove and let it rest for 20 minutes. Remove the twine and set on a platter to serve.

Step 10. GRAVY! Move roasting pan to medium-high heat and add the whipping cream to the pan drippings. Stir until it thickens and reduces to a gravy consistency. Strain into a gravy boat.

Take pictures and let us know how it all turned out in our comments section!

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