CHERYL CORLEY, host:
Thanksgiving is thought of as the quintessential American holiday, but not just because of pilgrims and pumpkin pie. It's because Thanksgiving is a feast for all Americans of every background, and everyone can bring something of their cultural heritage to the table.
Well, here at TELL ME MORE, we all thought about the - we are all about the multicultural, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a glimpse of some of the diverse flavors that will be found on tables around the country. So we put together - with the help of chefs, both professional and amateur - a little fusion feast of our own that we'll be bringing you throughout the show.
And we'll start off with what's usually the centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables: the turkey. And for most, that means shoving the bird in the oven and hoping it comes out done four hours later. But others like to add a little speed and spice to the cooking process. They pull out the deep fryer.
Our producer, Argin Hutchins, is one. We visited with him in his outdoor kitchen.
(Soundbite of boiling oil)
ARGIN HUTCHINS: I have a little thing where I compete with my mother-in-law about who makes the best turkey. I mean, she makes a good baked turkey, and it's good and it's palatable. But my fried turkey is the star of the show.
You know, she'll make a turkey, the traditional style of baking it, and she cheat and she puts it in a bag, so it makes the turkey really moist. So what I try to do is I go for the flavor, and I do a flavor injection into the turkey. It basically makes it a Cajun turkey.
About 10 years ago, my father got the turkey fryer as a present for Christmas, and it's sat on our garage for a while, unused. About five years ago, we lost two relatives in our family - my grandmother and my grandfather - pretty close together in terms of their death. And it really affected our family, because holidays weren't the same. And, you know, you had two members that are just not there, and you're used to seeing them there every holiday. And I kind of started feeling like it was making the family kind of become disjointed. It, like, it just made us feel uneasy. We didn't have anything to look - like we had things to look forward to on the holidays, but it really just made it seem like we were missing something, and that was cohesion. And most cultures in the world, if you have good food, they'll congregate to that.
So what I decided to do was I decided to try to make something every Thanksgiving that would make people want to come to Thanksgiving and be around and be a part of, because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I think it's cool to be old. Not that I'm trying to get old quickly, but I think it's cool to be an elder. And I always wanted to, in terms of family, I always wanted to be the uncle or the grandfather or the father that, oh, I can't wait until I have Uncle Argin's fried turkey. You know, I always wanted to be able to contribute that. I think that's like something to aspire to. So I decided I'd get an early start on it. So this is just my contribution.
CORLEY: Argin Hutchins is a producer with TELL ME MORE.