I'm gonna catch some heat for this, but I think that you should deep fry your turkey this Thanksgiving.
Now, I am a huge fan of walking into the house and having the aroma of a gently roasting (humongous) bird wafting through the air, but this year? It just isn't gonna happen.
Though I love the idea (and flavor) or a roasted bird, doing the deep fry offers certain advantages:
1. Your oven is free to make all of those fabulous, wonderful side dishes that are really the centerpiece of the event.
2. Whomever is in charge of the deep-frying, and yes, it's usually the guys, is out of the kitchen and out of your hair.
3. By allowing someone else to take control of the bird, you're letting them...help. And let's be honest here, everyone wants to help. To contribute.
You may be sacrificing the roasted bird, but it will still taste fantastic if done right (and who doesn't like to research and have a little bit of a challenge) and you can make gravy another way. Plus, you can still brine the heck out of that sucker if you want.
If I had a fancy oven at home (or two) and the space to roast, without a doubt, that's the way I'd go. But I don't. And I have one of those stupid flat, glass cooktops too, which is really different from cooking at The Kitchen Studio and my glorious 3 ovens and 10 burners of power.
Let's not forget, in all of the pressure of creating the right meal with the right menu and perfect timing is just a small part of the holiday. Sharing the work and being with folks you love, while simultaneously trying to not kill them, is the real joy, whether it sounds cliched or not.
As an extra added bonus, they have smaller 3-gallon containers of Peanut Oil at Sam's Club right now for less than $20. And you know that you know someone who has a turkey fryer but won't use it, so feel free to borrow or try to hit up Freecycle and see what you can find. It will be worth it in the end.