In our third Thanksgiving Secrets blogpost, we offer you wisdom about the main event on your Thanksgiving table, the turkey! Clarke South Norwalk Showroom Consultant Uschi Samaritano shares her secrets for “Turkey Two Ways.” This reflects Uschi’s take on a Williams Sonoma recipe that suggests that cooking the turkey in sections may not be the Norman Rockwell picture you have in your mind, however, it will ensure that both the white and dark meat stay tender and juicy. After all, it’s the taste that really matters!
Turkey Two Ways
Purchase a fresh 16-18 pound turkey, remove neck and giblets. Remove the legs from the turkey and separate into the thighs and drumsticks. Remove the wings. Using kitchen shears, cut through the ribs under each side of the breast to remove the breast from the backbone, creating a whole bone-in breast. Reserve the wings and backbone for making stock, if desired.
Note: If you would like to save time and your family prefers dark meat, you can skip the full turkey and purchase a turkey breast and the number of legs that your family would enjoy. This certainly saves prep time and allows you to have more than two legs to serve.
Create a wet brine with equal parts apple cider and water and add dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, peppercorns, star anise, juniper pepper, bay leaves, dried orange peel and, of course, salt. Feel free to use whatever herbs appeal to your taste buds. Brine all turkey pieces in the wet brine in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 300°F.
Remove the turkey pieces from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Place the thighs and drumsticks in a wide 6-quart stainless steel pot. Add 8 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 6 fresh thyme sprigs and 1/2 tablespoon of peppercorns. Pour in enough canola oil to completely cover the turkey pieces. Uschi recommends that you may want to substitute duck fat for the canola oil for an even more delicious result!
Cover the pot with the lid and transfer to the oven. Bake until the drumstick meat is pulling away from the bone and the meat is fork-tender, about 4 hours. Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Let the thighs and drumsticks stand in the covered pot while you roast the turkey breast.
Meanwhile, remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for one hour. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Roast until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F, about 1-1/2 hours. Transfer to a carving bo
ard, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
Increase the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on top. Remove the thighs and drumsticks from the pot and place, skin side down, on the rack. Broil the turkey pieces, turning once, until well browned and crispy, 8-10 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Carve the breast, thighs and drumsticks and arrange on a warmed platter.
The team at Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Test Kitchen, is passionate about all things food and drink. To tap into their cooking and design expertise, and learn which Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances will make your next Thanksgiving a culinary delight, make an appointment to meet them and tour dozens of inspiring kitchens today.