Minnesota man roasts 72-pound bird | VailDaily.com

Minnesota man roasts 72-pound bird

David Joles, AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune"It exploded," exclaimed Rachel Portnoy, 17 (center), after the 72-pound dressed turkey her father, Rich Portnoy (behind Rachel), had taken out of the family's oven Thursday.

MINNEAPOLIS ” A Minnesota man basted a 72-pound turkey to trounce his sister in their annual sibling rivalry over who can prepare the biggest Thanksgiving bird.

Rich Portnoy roasted his tubby turkey in his 36-inch-wide, chef-caliber oven on Thursday to top the biggest bird his sister had ever cooked by 25 pounds. Andra Portnoy conceded defeat from her Reston, Va., home, but noted that her brother’s large oven gave him an edge.

“It actually tastes pretty good!” Rich Portnoy said, gloating a bit after he and two other men pulled the turkey from the oven after 15 hours of roasting.

Big turkeys are a tradition in the Portnoy family. Rich Portnoy said his father cooked birds of 30 pounds or more years ago.

Last year, Andra Portnoy cooked a 47-pounder to take the lead after her brother could only find a 37-pounder, even though he lives in the nation’s top turkey-producing state.

This year, Rich Portnoy approached the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, which helped him find an 85-pound breeding tom that, at 59 weeks old, was near the end of its useful life.

He bought the turkey for $30, loaded the live bird into the back of the family’s car and drove it to a processor, where it was made oven-ready at 72 pounds.

Portnoy and his wife, Charlene, invited 26 people to Thursday’s feast. They weren’t sure the big old tom would be edible, so Portnoy also cooked a 19-pound “backup turkey” on the backyard grill.

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