+1 (858) 945-1324 [email protected]
We Love Our Food, You Will Too. |

Thanksgiving: The Turkey

The Bird. Thanksgiving’s centerpiece. A dish rich in tradition with hundreds if not thousands of variations. The common goal other than flavor is that perfect Golden exterior that brings the Oos & Awes from family and guests. This year, after a 12 year hiatus I was finally given control of the Turkey for my favorite meal of the year. Hard to believe, but its true. The anxiety has been building in my own mind on how I wanted to tackle this feature dish. This is what you train for.

My family loves the simplistic traditions and it would be a crime against them to do something somewhat out of the ordinary. So, that threw a lot of options off the table. I know I want to do a brine, but which kind? I have been dabbling in dry brines, but I mainly use wet brines in my recipes. My family has never done a brined Turkey, usually we feature a deep fried one which is extremely tough to beat. I was flipping through a bunch of different recipes and ideas, and I landed on this really great article comparing roast chickens. A lot of these were based on technique, and it started sparking a lot of ideas.

I have landed on using a wet brine, somewhat of my standard recipe for brining, but since I haven’t been in charge of the Turkey in over a decade, I decided to stay somewhat safe. In addition to the brine, I am going to take a few pages from Judy Rogers (Zuni Cafe) and stuff Herbs in-between the skin and the meat. In addition, to infuse even more flavor into the bird, I have decided to go with an alternative way of stuffing the cavity. Instead of the traditional stuffing, I plan on using lemon, lime and orange segments. This will provide an aerobatic steam that will flavor the turkey from the inside. Lastly, I plan on using a wrack inside of a roasting pan. By elevating the bird, the heat will be evenly distributed around the bird, giving it that golden skin all the way around. It will also produce a ton of pan drippings for basting. Cooking times will vary depending on your bird, I am cooking an 18lb turkey, for about 3.5 to 4hrs at 375. I believe this combination will produce an incredible centerpiece for my family’s meal. Check back for pictures!

My family is also no slouch to incorporating some liquid Holiday Cheer, so in anticipation I had a wonderful conversation with my Resident Sommelier, Regina, about wine pairings for dinner. She has provided some stellar recommendations that will be a surefire hit at your table.

If you are looking for some inspiration or ideas for your turkey, I highly recommend a brine. If you don’t have a brining bag or pot big enough, a Dry brine is just as easy and very effective. Just don’t be shy on salt! No matter what your what your traditions are, I wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving. And for a little fun, check out this awesome guideline provided by Sam Sifton the NY Times.

Happy Thanksgiving!