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Video: Turkey trouble? Tyler Florence offers help

  1. Closed captioning of: Turkey trouble? Tyler Florence offers help

    >> spray.

    >>> this morning on "today's holiday kitchen," a step-by-step guide for a terrific thanksgiving meal. tyler florence , one of the most popular chefs on the food network , is with us for the rest of the morning to talk us through everything we need to know . so, get your ingredients on the counter. we're starting with the turkey . if you're here, by the way, who's at home cooking the turkey for you?

    >> you know what, my mother-in-law in northern california , marge, and larry, they're making the feast today. as soon as we wrap up, i'm going to fly to california, be home for dinner about 5:00. it will be great.

    >> well, we appreciate you being here.

    >> of course.

    >> now, this bird looks a little small compared to the kinds you usually get in the grocery store.

    >> this is an interesting bird. this is a heritage turkey from my good friend bill at a ranch in northern california , a good friend of mine. this is a fabulous turkey .

    >> fresh, organic.

    >> yes, never frozen, really good stuff. this is the first thing i would go for. the second thing to think about is seasoning. to me, you want to season the bird from the inside outside . if you can see this, we have a couple things on the inside. we have carrots, sage, we've got celery, lemon, garlic, onion and fresh thyme.

    >> now, no stuffing?

    >> no, no stuffing.

    >> until later. we're going to make the stuffing later.

    >> this year we're going to make a dressing. that's the same recipe, but it goes in the baking pan and into the oven. we're going to make a nice seasoning. this is a recipe i came up with and i'm kind of digging the flavors. hoda, why don't you smash this stuff up? margarine, bay leaf , lavender and --

    >> lavender, ooh!

    >> it's got a little flavor to. it then we'll take some sea salt and just smash all this together and we're just going to kind of release some essential oils from the seeds and stuff. it's really nice stuff.

    >> okay.

    >> now, i'll show you how to truss a bird. hoda, you said you never heard of trussing a bird before.

    >> what does it mean?

    >> tying it down.

    >> you hog tie. it when you cook a bird, it's flopping around and all this stuff cooks at different rates because it's sticking out in different places. so, you want to take the bird and really kind of tie the bird together. take the strip, wrap it underneath the wings and then go over the tip of the wings, then come up underneath the legs. then take it and flip it over like this, take both strings and put it together so it cinches like that. so, what you have is like a big turkey football.

    >> perfect.

    >> now you want to add some fat to this, because turkeys are --

    >> butter, right?

    >> this is room temperature butter.

    >> and i'm just glazing it on top?

    >> yeah, great.

    >> i was watching this guy, tyler. he said to lift up the skin and stuff the butter in between the skin and the meat. is that a good idea?

    >> i've done that before, but i end up tearing the skin. it's kind of a mess, and to me, if you put the butter on top of the skin itself --

    >> really slather it on.

    >> yeah, slather it on.

    >> we want to move it on here because we're running out of time , but carving the turkey --

    >> seasonings will go on.

    >> pop it in the oven, and what's the rule of thumb , 30 minutes per pound or something like that.

    >> a 12-pound bird at 375 will probably take 2 1/2 hours to cook. you're looking for an internal temperature of about 160 degrees right at the joint.

    >> so important to have that.

    >> yeah.

    >> so, carving.

    >> carving. for the most part, people will make a mistake because they'll start to carve it straight off the bird. what happens with that, you end up cutting the turkey with the grain, right? and that means what you end up with is sort of a stringy turkey that really kind of falls off in pieces.

    >> so, what are you doing? cutting the breast bone ?

    >> cutting right down the middle.

    >> yeah, i'll cut this right off. think about a turkey as if it were a big chicken . so, i'm going to take the whole breast off in pieces like this. cut and look, cut and look. and once you kind of get the whole breast off, what you want to do is cut it into thin --

    >> smells great.

    >> yum.

    >> you want to cut it into thin slices like this. most people cut it like this. it's wrong because you cut it with the grain. you want to cut it against the grain.

    >> we've got to get in here.

    >> beautiful. oh, my gosh.

    >> then you have tender slices of turkey because you're kind of cutting the muscle of the bird itself into thin pieces.

    >> that's amazing. tyler is going to talk gravy and the other fixings coming up in a little bit. more cranberry

TODAY recipes
updated 11/24/2009 12:15:38 PM ET 2009-11-24T17:15:38

Recipe: American Provence Roasted Turkey

Time: 3-4 hours

  • American Provence
  • 1 cup flakey sea salt (like Maldon Sea Salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground lavender
  • 2 crushed bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed toasted fennel seed
  • 1 tablepoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram leaves, roughly chopped
  • Turkey
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A 12- to 14- pound fresh turkey, giblets, neck, and liver discarded
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3 ribs of celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 head of garlic, split through the equator
  • 1 meyer lemon, cut in half

For American Provence ingredients: Combine ingredients well and gently crush a little with a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

For turkey ingredients:  Preheat the oven to 350°F and remove the top rack of the oven.

Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper and stuff thyme, rosemary, sage, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and lemon inside.  Using kitchen twine truss the bird around the wings and loop around each leg tying ends together to bring the bird into a nice consistent shape (this will ensure it cooks evenly).  Place bird on a slotted V-rack inside a turkey roasting tray. 

Using a rubber spatula, smear the room temperature butter all over the bird ensuring you get it in the cracks and joints around the legs and wings.  Season all over with American Provence salt mix.  Place turkey in the middle of the oven and cook for about 3 hours.

Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170°F. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes per pound). If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting, cover them with foil. Take the turkey out of the oven and put the roasting pan on the stovetop to make the gravy (see below).  Transfer the turkey to a serving tray to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Serving Size

Yield: 12 servings

Recipe: Turkey Gracy

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

  • 2 pounds smoked turkey wings
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 bunch fresh sage
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (store bought)
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the turkey wings and brown.  Remove the turkey wings and add the onion, carrots, garlic, herbs, and peppercorns and cook for 5 minutes, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Return the wings to the pot and add chicken broth. Bring to the boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain out and discard the solids and set aside the stock.

Once your turkey has roasted set the pan over medium heat on the stove top.  Discard some of the fat if there is too much (you’ll need about 4 tablespoons).  Add the flour to the pan and, using a whisk, stir constantly to incorporate the fat and flour.  Once you have a consistent paste add the warm stock in a steady stream while you stir to work out any lumps.  Cook until the gravy has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Season well with salt and pepper and serve.

Serving Size

Yield: 5 to 6 cups


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