[Photograph: Sheri Will]

I'm sure the Butterball folks have some ninja on retainer that will assassinate me for this, but here it is: I don't like turkey. I can stand it, but given a choice to cook any protein in the world, it's probably the last one I would. I've had it brined, deep fried, roasted, spatchcocked, and sautéed. The only time I really liked it was slathered in mole on a burrito and once at my brother-in-law's, smoked and doused in barbecue sauce à la pulled pork, but both of those experiences were more about the sauce than the meat. There was also the Thanksgiving I confited a bunch of legs. Not bad, but turkey skin cracklins aren't nearly as good as the chicken or duck variety.

Given that, last Thanksgiving I took matters in to my own hands and, though I'm sure it puts me on some government terror threat list, I banned turkey from my family's Thanksgiving table. I was also responsible for cooking everything, including White Castle burger stuffing, bourbon pecan sweet potatoes, and grilled asparagus with cheddar fried onion crumbles, so I decided to outsource the main course.

Having just received the Momofuku cookbook, I had barbecue pork buns on my mind. Normally I'd head up to Sun Wah on the north side of the city for my fix of Chinese barbecued animals, but since I didn't want to make the trek, I stuck it out closer to home and ordered a duck and some pork from BBQ King House in Chicago's Chinatown.

The BBQ King duck had crispier orange skin than the cast of MTV's Jersey Shore. Its succulent maltose-covered crust was just as satisfying as the Sun Wah version, and the pork glistening in its own slightly salty soy-marinated juices was maybe better. Turkey, it seems, has officially been banned forever from my table.

BBQ King House

2148 S. Archer Avenue, Chicago IL 60616 (map)


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: