The Thanksgiving Collection
How you doin’? Where has this year gone? It’s coming close to Thanksgiving Day already—my favorite food day of the year. In the past we’ve talked about making brined turkey, upside down turkey, spatchcocked turkey, fried turkey and, yes, even roasted turkey. It’s pretty easy to make great turkey, right?
Now it’s time to take it to the next level—a Bresse-Style Turkey. I got the inspiration for this recipe from Ariane Daguin at D’Artagnan. This is a real winner for those who love a traditional French-style turkey… super juicy on the inside with a nice golden brown, crisp skin on the outside and perfectly roasted flavor.
It’s not that this recipe is so complicated or particularly hard to do, it just has a few more steps and more quality time and ingredients than turkeys we’ve made in the past. This is the style of turkey I learned to make at the Cordon Bleu in Paris many Thanksgivings ago. So let me just say this, if you’re cooking your first turkey ever or if you are an old pro on your fortieth, you will still get the same marvelous result I did in France every single time.
There is only one catch… you will need a pot large enough to fit your turkey in (about 20 quarts) and you will need to start the preparation the day before. But again, it’s no big deal. Actually, you will be making two recipes at the same time—the perfect turkey and the most flavorful turkey soup you’ve ever slurped!
Prep time: 1 hour
Balance/Brine time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Refrigerate time: overnight
Roast time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 10 servings
2 containers Duck and Veal Demi-Glace (available at www.dartagnan.com)
4 medium carrots, rough chopped
4 stalks celery, rough chopped
3 medium yellow onions, thickly sliced
1 turnip, rough chopped
1 head garlic, peeled
3 ounces Duck Fat (available at www.dartagnan.com)
1 turkey, 12- to 14-pounds (more on this choice in the ChefSecrets)
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
ChefSecret: Turkeys—I don’t usually purchase self-basting or injected turkeys. They are usually factory-farmed, and you can’t control salt levels. I like smaller size 12 to 14-pound birds. Talk to your independent poultry guy and have him source a Wild Turkey (more dark meat), Heritage Turkey or Organic, Free-Range Turkey. All my suggested birds are smaller than commercially grown turkeys and are much tastier, too.
Quip of the Day: “America lost its true identity when more value was placed on suits and contracts rather than bib overalls and a handshake.”
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Have a wonderful safe and healthy holiday. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America.
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