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By Susie Middleton | Wednesday, November 9, 2011
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a gorgeous, flavorful roast turkey, and I've got two secrets to share with you for cooking a juicy turkey every time: brine the bird, and rub a compound butter under the skin before you roast it.
For the juniper-ginger butter:
7 oz. (14 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. minced shallots
1 Tbs. ground juniper
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
1 Tbs. fresh thyme
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
For the brined turkey:
2-1/2 lb. kosher salt (8-3/4 cups if you're using Diamond Crystal brand)
1-1/2 lb. (3 cups plus 3 Tbs.) granulated sugar
2/3 cup freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 oz. fresh rosemary sprigs (about 2 large bunches), lightly crushed
2-1/2 oz. fresh thyme sprigs (about 2 large bunches), lightly crushed
14-lb. natural turkey (preferably fresh)
Tip: Because different brands of kosher salt have different densities, be sure to measure by weight. For example, 2-1/2 lb. of Morton brand salt is only about 4-1/2 cups.
For the gravy:
1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 oz. (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
At least one day ahead, make the butter
Mix the butter ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate 4 Tbs. of the butter for the gravy and set the rest aside at room temperature for the turkey.
One day ahead, brine and prepare the turkey
In a plastic container or stockpot large enough to hold the turkey, mix all the brine ingredients (except the turkey) in 3 gallons of cold water, stirring until the salt and sugar are mostly dissolved. Discard the neck and the giblets and trim any excess skin or fat. Trim the tail, if desired. Rinse the turkey and submerge it in the brine for at least 4 hours and no more than 6 hours. If the turkey floats, weight it down with a couple of dinner plates.
Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Starting at the top of the breast, run your fingers between the breast and the skin to separate them, being careful not to rip the skin. Once you're halfway down the breast, turn the turkey around and work from the bottom of the breast until you have loosened the skin from the breast, thighs, and as far down the legs as you can reach. Rub the juniper butter under the skin, covering the breast and as much of the legs as possible. Tuck the wings behind the breast and truss the turkey with twine, securing the legs to the body. Set the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 and up to 24 hours.
Roast the turkey
Position a rack in the bottom of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. If any brine has dripped from the turkey into the roasting pan, pour it out. Then pour 2 cups of warm water into the bottom of the pan and cover the entire roasting pan with foil. Roast undisturbed for 2 hours; remove the pan from the oven and remove the foil. Roast the uncovered turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of both thighs reads 165°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer.
Move the turkey to a cutting board, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest for about 30 minutes.
Make the gravy
Strain the turkey drippings into a fat separator cup (or another clear, heatproof container). Let sit until the fat rises to the top and then separate exactly 2 cups of the turkey juice from the fat—don't use more than that or the gravy will be too salty. Combine the 2 cups juice with the chicken broth and enough water to make 4-1/2 cups liquid.
In a medium saucepan, melt the reserved juniper-ginger butter and the unsalted butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the liquid, bring just to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Whisking frequently, continue to cook about 5 minutes longer to meld the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make Ahead Tips
The turkey must be brined and buttered a day ahead. You can make and refrigerate the butter up to 1 week ahead or freeze for 2 months. Bring to room temperature before preparing the turkey.
How To Carve a Turkey
nutrition information (per serving) for this recipe:
Size : 6 oz. meat, 2 fl. oz. gravy; Calories (kcal): 500; Fat (g): 26; Fat Calories (kcal): 230; Saturated Fat (g): 11; Protein (g): 60; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 5; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Sodium (mg): 440; Cholesterol (mg): 185; Fiber (g): 0;
By Toni Waterman | Friday, August 5, 2011
Aug. 8, 2011
BOSTON — It’s not often you get the chance to share the kitchen with a five-star chef, but once a month, Four Seasons Executive Chef Brooke Vosika opens his doors and recipe book to the public with a cooking class.
“Tonight we’ve got a BBQ class. It’s probably one of our most popular classes,” said Vosika. “We’re going to touch on gas barbeque verses charcoal barbeque, we’re going to touch on the different varieties of barbeque, whether it be a southern style, it can also be a Kansas City style, Texas style, North Carolina style.”
For $150, these eight students get a personal lesson on the art of barbequing. It's a lesson student Sarah Donovan said can’t come soon enough.
“I just got married and someone gave me a grill and it’s sitting on the deck. I haven’t even taken the tarp off,” Donovan said as she put on her apron. “So I’m here to learn how to grill.”
The classes are held in the middle of the Four Seasons Aujourd’hui kitchen. Everyone quickly finds their place around a square table, butcher blocks in front them and a glass of wine in hand.
First up, a lesson on Vosika’s self-described “volcano” sauce. For the past two weeks, Vosika has kept the chilies buried under mounds of salt. He says the salt draws the moisture out of the chilies while at the same time adding some saltiness to them.
“The process then is to wash off as much of the salt as possible, pick the stems off and then we’re going to blend it,” Vosika explained.
Everyone pitches in, in between sips of wine, pinching stems before the chilies are blended with vinegar and water.
Next up, the main course is the ever-daunting ribs. The first thing Vosika shows are baby-back ribs.
“The difference between the baby-back and the regular ribs is that it’s a smaller animal they come from,” he says. “And also they’ve been trimmed down so it’s the center of the rib. You’re not leaving that fat portion on the bottom.”
Vosika boils his ribs for 40 minutes before throwing them on the grill, giving him just enough time to get his Kansas-City-style barbeque sauce together. He starts by chopping some garlic.
“Ketchup is the next one and that’s our base,” he says while pouring it all into a mixing bowl. “Adding our vinegar, chili powder, paprika, olive oil which is important for coating and of course, our volcano sauce,” Voskia says, laughing.
Now it's time to hit the grill. Vosika says this is the point when people make their biggest mistake, using either too much heat or too little heat.
“There’s a fine line between burning something and char-grilling it, really making something so charred that that flavor takes over everything,” Vosika said.
Student Ernie Jones says he's definitely made that mistake. “Not paying attention to the grill when I was doing a low, slow cook and it just got way past the point of when it was done,” Johnson said.
After dousing the ribs with sauce, Vosika grabs them with tongs, demonstrating perfect technique.
“So I’m going to take this side, the side that we’ve done that has the BBQ sauce on it. We’ll lay that right on top. While that’s there, we’ll take some more barbeque sauce.”
After a few minutes sizzling on the grill, it’s time for the best part of the class. Chef stands at the table, doling out the goods: Baby back ribs-regular ribs, wings, homemade potato chips and good conversation.
At the end of the night, students say they’re taking home a lot more than just leftovers. “It was really easy to see how to make different things and with recipes I will actually be able to follow,” says Kara Silvia.
“I loved it,” adds her sister, Kristina. “It was so good, but we’re so full at this point,” she adds, laughing.
Full with a meal that’s finger lickin’ good.
Monday, June 6, 2011