As you think of what to do with your turkey for Turkey day, take a look at these lovely recipes by three of DC's top chefs – Chef Haider Karum, Chef Scott Drewno and CHef K.N. Vinod offer some wonderfully different takes on turkey. How different? An Indian turkey kebab, a Chinese spiced whole bird and a gorgeous and simple Spanish turkey saute. CLICK ON TO PAGE 36-37
Read up and eat up!
Top turkey cooking tips:
- Diane Morgan, author of the bestselling book “The Thanksgiving Table” (Chronicle Books), suggests investing in an instant-read thermometer to check doneness. A turkey is fully roasted when the internal temperature is 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. A turkey cooked to 180 degrees will be “dead on arrival.”
- Local Top Chef contestant Carla Hall offers this advice, “Cut the turkey down into 8 pieces, like a chicken, and brine the pieces in jumbo re-sealable bags.” The reasons? All the pieces are cooked separately, and therefore you will get perfectly cooked white and dark meat, and the carcass is free to be roasted for the base of a great stock for the gravy, instead of using it for soup the following day.
- “Apply the marinade well under the skin and between the breasts of the turkey. Also, be sure to score the turkey slightly with a knife so that the marinade really penetrates all the way through,” advises Indique Heights’s Chef K.N Vinod.
- Estadio’s chef Karum offered this bit of wisdom, “After brining the bird, remove it from the brine and refrigerate uncovered for 12 hours to get the skin as dry as possible. This will result in a crispy skin when you roast your turkey.”
- Grace Parisi, Senior Recipe Developer at Food & Wine, offers this tip, “I always brine my turkey to ensure that the breast is as moist and flavorful as the dark meat. Brining also eliminates the need for basting which I find a bit fussy on a busy day."
A little change – For those who are not ready to change dramatically but want just a touch of innovation, Diane Morgan author of “The Thanksgiving Table,” comes to the rescue. Traditionally, a turkey is seasoned with thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Morgan suggests that you can an innovate your bird by simply modifying this basic rub: Add ground fennel seed, cumin, coriander and turmeric for an Indian-flavored bird. Smoked paprika can be added to the basic blend for a Spanish twist. To go Asian, skip the thyme and sage and instead mix crushed garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, and a little Asian sesame oil for a wet rub for the skin of the bird.
Happy THanksgiving to all Life of Spice readers. I love you all and am very grateful for your kind love and support.