DO YOU HAVE YOUR TURKEY YET?
We are about 4 day out from Thanksgiving. The only party I hate in the turkey cooking process is the thaw out time. It’s real. Depending on the size of your bird you may need several days to let your turkey completely thaw out in the fridge. If you don’t have your turkey by now you need to get it tonight to begin that process.
Otherwise you are left playing a risky game with temperature trying to thaw it out in the sink. I mean, its certainly been done, hell even I’ve used that method before. But I would say that the refrigerator method is probably the safest although the most time consuming.
No matter what, never leave your turkey out on the counter to thaw. If any part of the turkey falls between of 40°F to 140°F for longer than two hours, it increases the chances for unsafe levels of bacteria to develop.
The Spatchcocked Turkey
This year I decided to take a different approach to cooking my turkey. I normally wet brine, roast and bake my turkey but instead I followed the SeriousEats guide for dry brining and spatchcocking my turkey. This year I’ve been obsessed with the spatchcocking method for all of my poultry and I am so pleased with how amazing it always turns out. It only made sense to use this method for the most important bird of the year.
Here are the main benefits of spatchcoking
- Flatter shape = even cooking throughout
- Whole bird exposed = crispy skin all around
- Thinner profile = drastically lower cooking time
- Excess backbones = better gravy
Follow me as I follow the Serious East Step-By-Step to the perfect turkey. Let’s kick things off. FYI my bird was about 15lbs.
I used left the cooking aisle and went straight to the hardware aisle to get these heavy-duty Stanley Aviation Scissors. They may look intimidating but they were so easy to use and made cutting through the bone line a walk in the park. I will definitely be using these again.
I started at the at the neck of the back bone to get a good grip and worked my way down on both sides.
Then I broke the chest bone to get the bird flat. You will actually hear the bone break as you press down which is kind of freaky.
Then I dabbed Gloria dry with a paper towel to get her ready for my butter compote.
This is where veered away from the “Serious Eats” instructions in order to create my own buttery marinade for the turkey. I have an issue letting go of full seasoning control when it comes to seasonings and marinades. That’s where I shine.
For this turkey I mixed unsalted butter, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, yellow curry powder and just a bit of salt.
There are four main pockets that I always try to separate the skin of the turkey from the mea; they are, above each breast and above each thigh.
Once I separate the meat from the skin in those areas I stuff each pocket with the dry herb and butter compote.
I left just a bit of the butter mixture out in order to smother it over the top of the bird.
Then I laid the bird flat on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet with veggies and fresh herbs,
Be sure to move the oven racks down so that turkey sits in the middle when it goes into the oven and get this; its done in 80 minutes!!!
It comes out perfectly golden brown, with crispy skin and juicy meat. I don’t think I can go back to my previous preparation. This method is a winner all around.
If you decide to try this method leave a comment below and let me know how your turkey comes out.
Best Damn Greens Ever - A mix of collard, mustard and turnip greens, smoked turkey and carefully selected seasonings makes this slow cooked southern classic ready right out the stock pot.
- 2 bunches of collard greens, deveined and chopped
- 1 bunch of turnip greens, deveined and chopped
- 1 bunch of mustard greens, deveined and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups (16 oz) picante salsa
- ½ cup apple cider or white vinegar
- the meat of two smoked turkey legs
- 4 (32 oz.) cartons of unsalted chicken stock
- 5 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
- 1½ tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 /4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Large Stock Pot
- Clean and devein the greens then roughly chop them.
- **Optional** remove turkey meat from the bone. Make sure to get the small bones scattered in between the meat. Reserve the large bones.
- Put the chicken stock in a medium stockpot on high heat. Once you get to a rolling boil add in all the remaining ingredients (including the large turkey bones), cover, reduce heat to medium and let them cook down for 3- 4 hours depending on how tender you like your greens. Make sure to stir occasionally.
- Serve once the greens have reached your desired level of tenderness.
You will need a Large Stock Pot