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Original Issue

Zack Crockett


On hisThanksgiving specialty, deep-fried turkey

Once you godeep-fried, you never go back. And if you inject something into the meat, it'smuch juicier and you have so much flavor. I inject a Cajun garlic butter on oneside and on the other side teriyaki.

On cooking

I learned from mygrandmother Elmarie Hall when I was growing up in Pompano Beach [Fla.]. Itwasn't a punishment, but it kind of seemed like it when I was a little kid. Thefirst thing my grandmother taught me was how to season food, then how to workthe stove. Eventually, cooking became a competition between me and my mom andeveryone in my household. It was a great skill to have when I was going off tocollege. Also, when you get guys together to eat, it brings camaraderie to yourteam.

On whom he'sexpecting for Thanksgiving

We've got a newteam, a lot of changing of the guard this year, but the new guys caught onfast--they know who cooks. A lot of my teammates are coming; my family comes.We average 20 people. Sapp comes over, Randy Moss, LaMont Jordan, NnamdiAsomugha. Coaches.

On theThanksgiving scam his teammates pulled on him when he broke in as a Colt in1995

They gave therookies vouchers for turkeys at the supermarket and said, Go pick up yourturkey. One of my friends on the team gave me his, so I had two. We used thevouchers and came home with two huge, heavy bags, sealed up. We put them in myfamily's freezer, and when the time came they opened them up to baste theturkeys--and there were two big blocks of ice! My teammates had us on camerapicking up the "turkeys" at the supermarket, and they laughed so hard.It was funny, but I felt bad because my family got caught in it.

On the weeklyfish fry he hosts for his teammates

We had to move itfrom Thursday to Friday because we weigh in on Thursday, and guys were a littlescared. People eat a lot, yes they do. I've been doing it since college. Westart around 4:30 or five, end around nine o'clock. We usually have about 20people, and we'll watch TV. I'll make tilapia, and we've got guys fromMississippi who like catfish and cheese grits.

On his upcomingcookbook, Cooking with Crockett

The idea came ayear and a half ago. I did it for my oldest daughter, Zachoria, who's 16, sothat when she goes out on her own, she can cook. I am also trying to raisemoney for my foundation for inner-city kids, the Crockett Foundation( I took 16 recipes, a real mix--pastas, Peking duck,desserts, blackened fish, salads, soul food. Some I came up with, and some aremy family's traditional dishes. I'm definitely thinking about going to culinaryschool once I finish in the NFL.


Makin' It

For Crockett's fried-turkey and stuffing recipes go



Photograph by Michael Sugrue