Good Eats

Season 1 Episode 14

Romancing the Bird— A Good Eats Thanksgiving

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 14, 1999 on Food Network
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Romancing the Bird— A Good Eats Thanksgiving
Join host Alton Brown, while he creates a great Thanksgiving feast. With the help of his somewhat misinformed relatives, Alton debunks some turkey cooking myths on his way to a better bird. Recipes featured in this episode: Sweet Corn Bread Pudding, Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce, and Good Eats Roast Turkey.moreless

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  • It's not Thanksgiving until...

    Is it possible for a food show to have an episode that could be considered a holiday classic? No. At least that's what I thought until seeing "Romancing the Bird" back in '99. This episode exemplifies the humorous-to-hilarious writing that is always a highpoint on "Good Eats" combined with fascinating food-knowledge and amazing recipes. I never miss an episode of "Good Eats" but this particular one has become a holiday tradition for me, it really makes me feel like it's Thanksgiving as much as the "Peanuts" special or the parades. Who can't commiserate with Alton's obnoxious, interfering family, or the confusion that comes when preparing a huge Thanksgiving feast? And, no, you don't have to agree with every one of Alton's occasional anal-retentive food ideas, because they'll usually work with a little of your own tweaking. Besides, as Alton has said, cooking is about experimentation. Plus the recipes are only a third of the show's appeal. "Romancing the Bird", a hugely entertaining holiday tradition.moreless
Zeb Millard

Zeb Millard

Young A. B.

Guest Star

Merrilyn Crouch

Merrilyn Crouch

Marsha Brown

Recurring Role

Vickie Eng

Vickie Eng


Recurring Role

Shirley O. Corriher

Shirley O. Corriher

Food Scientist

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Romancing the Bird
      The title may refer to the 1984 film "Romancing the Stone."

    • The blueberry, or the cranberry
      Alton, preparing to show his sister what the first Thanksgiving was really like, offers her a choice between a red cranberry and a blueberry, just as Morpheus famously offered Neo a choice between red pill and blue pill in The Matrix.

    • Where does she get all those wonderful toys?
      Alton, marvelling at Shirley's slideshow machine, is channeling Jack Nicholson's Joker, from the 1989 hit film Batman.

    • Mystery Food Science Theatre
      A reference to cult hit Mystery Science Theatre 3000, often MST3K to its devotees; the show presented old movies for mockery in a format similar to Shirley Corriher's brine lecture.

    • The Life of Brine
      This subtitle, for the section on how to brine the turkey, refers to the Monty Python hit, The Life of Brian.

    • How MacGyver of you
      Another "W" quote; this one refers to the long running adventure series MacGyver, whose title character was famous for improvising his way out of tricky situations by using common items in new ways. Alton earns this faint praise by employing a cooking thermometer to aid in defrosting a turkey.

    • Will the rest of the Addams Family be there?
      W's reply to Alton, when he invites her for Thanksgiving dinner, compares his family to the bizarre family popularized by cartoonist Charles Addams, and brought memorably to television in 1964.

    • W, the equipment specialist
      W makes one of her many appearances in this episode, although this time, she's at Alton's home. Usually, he must go to her. She is a reference to "Q", James Bond's redoubtable armorer. In this episode, Monty Norman's original James Bond theme can be heard playing faintly in the background during most of her appearance.

    • The Turkey Is Strong With You
      The "mysterious stranger" who visits that long ago Brown Thanksgiving says this to young Alton. He is imitating Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The theme continues as he withdraws an electric knife from within his jacket the same way Obi-Wan withdrew his lightsaber. And he uses a Jedi mind trick to make Alton's relative not want to carve the turkey.

    • My own family history was more Norman Bates than Norman Rockwell
      Norman Bates was the creepy motal owner serial killer from Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho. Norman Rockwell, by contrast, was an American painter famous for scenes of happy Americana. His work often adorned the Saturday Evening Post.

    • Title: Romancing the Bird

      The title is a reference to the movie Romancing the Stone [1984] by Robert Zemeckis.

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