Follow our Executive Chef’s tricks to a perfect Thanksgiving Turkey recipe.
Step One: Ultra Crispy Skin
For ultra crispy skin it’s important to dry the skin before seasoning and cooking. Very much in the style of classic ‘Peking Duck’ recipes. You can allow to air dry in fully thawed state uncovered in the refrigerate for 24 hours or more. Other tricks include using a blow dryer-yes, a blow dryer!
Step Two: Bring on the Bacon
A different approach would be fully brined-this requires space and a container that hold the bird fully submerged in the brine. This is a great technique to get the savoury seasoning throughout the bird.
add bacon, bacon fat, bacon bits, pork fat, pancetta, guanciale. You can lay strips on the skin as you roast, just be careful not to allow the bacon to burn. Keep an eye on it and remove when it’s released all its fat and flavour.
Step Three: Dressing!
Dressing should always be made separately. Don’t stuff the cavity! Unsafe and generally nasty! I love the classic combination of sage and onions, garlic. A fresh lemon(and/or orange), zest and juice is an easy trick to elevate and highlight flavours. Brioche is a great vessel for all this flavour, and be sure to use more butter than you think/want to use!! Sausage is a great way to add savoury flavour. See above for adding pork products! Use only fresh herbs, dry herbs taste like your Grandma’s cooking.
Step Four: Veggie Sides
My favourite cold season holiday veg side is brussel sprout gratin. Instead of plain boiled or roasted brussel sprouts, slice them up and saute them with onions, garlic, a nut of your choice(chestnuts being my favourite) and then add heavy cream. Reduce a bit and transfer to a casserole dish. Liberally sprinkle with bread crumbs and more nuts, dot with some butter or drizzle with olive oil and bake at high heat for 10-12 minute or until topping is crisp. Everything can be done in advance except final bake and crisp step.