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Video: Bobby Flay’s tips for golden-brown turkey perfection

  1. Closed captioning of: Bobby Flay’s tips for golden-brown turkey perfection

    >>> back now at 8:12. this morning on "today's" holiday kitchen, bobby flay helps us create the ultimate thanksgiving day feast. first, how to get the golden brown turkey . good morning, happy thanksgiving.

    >> so glad to be here. my favorite day of the year.

    >> i know you are basically cook cooking all day.

    >> i'm actually cooking this meal that i will show you today.

    >> the turkey . goes without saying, if you haven't thawed it by now, it's too late.

    >> you should buy a fresh turkey anyway. people talk about brining a turkey , not brining. i'm not a briner. i don't think it's necessary. brining is good for people who overcook the turkey . cook it correctly and you'll be fine.

    >> how do we do it to cook this turkey .

    >> here we are what i do, i brush this with butter. some softened butter, and you want to put chicken stock in the bottom.

    >> why is this so important? you are big on this.

    >> it will create -- when it starts to heat up in the oven it will create steam and make the turkey nice and moist. going to create steamy liquid and the butter melts down into the liquid.

    >> a little salt on there.

    >> and pepper, lots of pepper. salt and pepper . and vegetables right in the cavity. this just gives it some aromatic flavorer.

    >> how long do you put this guy in the oven?

    >> this is a 16- or 17-pound turkey . this will take about two hours, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. check itxd with a meat thermometer . put it right between the leg and the breast.

    >> stuff it down in there.

    >> well, you don't have to jam it in. just kind of like -- it will go in nice and easily. when it gets to 165 degrees, take it out. 165, and then you want to let it rest close to an hour.

    >> what about basting? a lot of people love to baste. opening the door, the heat gets out.

    >> that's okay. you take your baster, go into the delicious liquid. chicken stock and butter and baste it for like two minutes, not even two minutes. 20 seconds and close the oven. i baste every 20 minutes after the first 45 minutes.

    >> i know we'll talk about the glades you put on this later, but we want to carve as well.

    >> everybody has uncle harry who comes out once a year he hits the table and messes up your turkey . we don't want to do that. what i like to do, i like to take the whole breast off, both sides of the breast let's say. what i do, make an incision like this.

    >> how long did you rest this? i forgot.

    >> close to an hour. a very, very big bird . i will follow the bone right down, take the entire breast right off the turkey . see how juicy that is? amazing.

    >> yeah.

    >> okay. there we go. and put it on the cutting board . now, we're going to make nice slices, trying to keep the breast in its same shape.

    >> you're doing like chunks, not slivers.

    >> not chunks, but very thick slices.

    >> okay. everybody gets a piece of the skin. so beautiful this way.

    >> what about the dark meat? did you put that back in the pan?

    >> here's the deal. the breast cooks faster. the dark meat has to keep cooking in my opinion. i take the leg and thigh off, and put it back into the same juices in the pan.

    >> all right.

    >> and i cover it, and i braiz it in the oven, just cook it about 350 degrees for like another half an hour.

    >> wow. okay.

    >> pull it like pulled pork , pull the dark meat and serve that on the side.

    >> bobby, thank you so much. even i understood this lesson.

TODAY recipes
updated 11/24/2011 10:53:01 AM ET 2011-11-24T15:53:01

Recipe: Red chile-tangerine glazed turkey

  • Red chile-tangerine glaze
  • 3 cups tangerine juice
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 - 3/4 teaspoon chile de arbol powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Turkey
  • 1 22 pound whole fresh turkey, rinsed well and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Cilantro
  • 8 cups homemade chicken stock or low sodium canned broth
  • Turkey stock
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Turkey neck
  • Wing tips
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into medium dice
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into medium dice
  • 1 medium onion, cut into medium dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • Pan drippings plus enough chicken stock to make 8 cups
  • 1/2 cup reserved tangerine-red chile glaze, from above
  • Fresh thyme
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Finely grated tangerine zest

For red chile-tangerine glaze: Combine juice, vinegar and sugar in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and cook over high heat, whisking occasionally, until reduced to about 2 cups and thickened to a glaze, about 30 minutes; season with salt and pepper; let cool slightly. Remove ½ cup of the glaze and reserve it for the gravy.

For the turkey: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting. Rub the entire turkey with the butter and season with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with the vegetables and herbs. Put the stock in a saucepan over low heat.

Put a roasting rack inside of a large roasting pan and add 3 cups of the stock to the bottom. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes then turn the heat down to 375. Continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 170 degrees F and the breast is at least 160 degrees F, about 3 to 3 ½ hours. During the first 2 hours, baste the turkey every 15 minutes with some of the remaining stock. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, brush the turkey with some of the tangerine glaze every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven to a cutting board, brush with more of the glaze and let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. Strain any of the drippings into a measuring cup.

For turkey stock: Melt the butter in a large high sided sauté pan or saucepan over high heat. Add the turkey neck and wing tips and cook until golden brown. Add the carrots, celery and onion season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.

Add the flour and stir constantly until a golden brown color. Slowly whisk in some of the hot stock and continue whisking and adding more stock until smooth. Reduce the heat and cook until thickened and the flour taste has cooked out, about 10 minutes. Add the tangerine glaze to taste. Add chopped thyme, parsley, tangerine zest and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Serving Size

Serves 8

Recipe: Chorizo-cornbread dressing

  • Cornbread
  • 1 1/2 cups stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • Dressing
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 pound chorizo sausage, cut into small dice
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 large stalks celery, cut into small dice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x Cornbread recipe, above, cubed (about 8 cups), staled
  • 4 to 6 cups homemade turkey or chicken stock or low sodium canned chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the cornbread: Heat a cast iron dry skillet in the lower third of the oven while preheating oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk together the eggs, and milk in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Scrape the mixture into the pan and bake until lightly golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 18 minutes. Let cool slightly on a baking rack.

For the dressing: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until golden brown, remove the chorizo to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onions, celery and carrot to the pan with the fat, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft then stir in the chorizo. Place the cornbread in a large bowl; add the onion mixture and 2 to 3 cups of the stock. The mixture should be quite wet, if it appears too dry, begin adding the remaining stock, a half cup at a time. Stir in the sage, thyme and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Scrape the dressing evenly into a buttered large baking dish (12 x 12 or larger) and bake in a 375 degrees F oven until set and golden brown on top, about 30-40 minutes.

Serving Size

Serves 8; Cornbread yields 1 9-inch round

Recipe: Roasted brussels sprouts with pomegranates and walnuts

  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Combine the butter and vanilla bean seeds in a small bowl. Fold in the pecans and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place brussels sprouts in a medium roasting pan and toss with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until lightly golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, add the pomegranate molasses and stir to combine. Return to the oven and cook until just tender, about 10 or 15 minutes longer. Transfer sprouts to a large bowl, add the pomegranate seeds, and lime and orange zest. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle the top with the walnuts.

Serving Size

Serves 8

Recipe: Cranberry-blackberry relish

  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more if needed
  • 2-inch piece grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pound cranberries
  • 2 pints fresh blackberries, halved lengthwise
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint or flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the orange juice, sugar, ginger, honey in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Add half of the cranberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining cranberries and blackberries, cook for one minute and remove from the heat. Stir in the orange zest, mint or parsley and season with salt and pepper. Scrape into a bowl and let come to room temperature before serving.

Serving Size

Serves 8

Recipe: Cauliflower and goat cheese gratin

  • 3 cups whole milk, plus more milk if needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 6 ounces soft goat cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large head cauliflower florets, each floret sliced into 2-3 pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a large baking dish. Place the milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Melt butter over medium heat in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk in the flour and let cook for 1 minute (do not let the mixture get brown). Slowly whisk in the milk, increase the heat to high, and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Monterey Jack and half of the goat cheese and half of the parmesan cheese until melted, season with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too thick, thin with a little extra milk. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl, add the cauliflower and stir well to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining goat cheese and parmesan and bake on a baking sheet (in case the mixture bubbles over in the oven).

Serving Size

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe: Sweet potato gratin

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick) on a mandoline
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk together cream and chipotle puree until smooth. In a 10 x 10 x 2-inch casserole, arrange the potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the casserole, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 8-10 layers. Press down on the layers to totally submerge in the cream mixture. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 30-45 minutes, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are cooked through and the top is browned.

Serving Size

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe: Yukon gold potatoes with green chile queso sauce

  • 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups hot whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 2 pounds Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 3 roasted poblano chiles, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 roasted jalapeno chiles, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put potatoes in a large pot and cover by 2-inches with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well and return to the low heat for a moment to get all of the water out. Run the potatoes through a food mill into a large bowl. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Slowly whisk in the 4 cups of hot milk, increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and the flour taste has been cooked out, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cheeses a handful at a time, then the chiles and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

When the potatoes are almost done, put the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Add half of the milk mixture and gently mix until the potatoes are creamy, adding more milk if needed; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the potatoes to a large shallow bowl..make a well in the center of the potatoes and ladle the queso sauce into the well. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serving Size

Serves 8

Recipe: Pumpkin bread pudding with spicy caramel apple sauce

  • Pumpkin bread
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 ounces (scant 1 cup) canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Spicy caramel apple sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apple schnapps
  • Pumpkin bread pudding
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup pure canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • Toasted and cubed pumpkin bread
  • Freshly whipped cream

For the pumpkin bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl. Beat the butter, sugar and oil at high speed in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times.

Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until just incorporated. At low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and water and mix until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a baking rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and let cool completely. Once the bread is cool, slice into half lengthwise then slice each half into ½-inch cubes. Spread the cubes on a large baking sheet and bake in a 325 degree oven until lightly toasted, turning once, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

For spicy caramel apple sauce: Combine cream, apple juice, star anise, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture into a clean small saucepan place back over low heat while you make the caramel. Combine the sugar, water and vinegar in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook until, without stirring, until a deep amber color, about 8 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm cream mixture a little at a time, and continue whisking until smooth, add the apple schnapps and cook for 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm. The sauce can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat over low heat before serving.

For pumpkin bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk together the yolks, sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture until combined, remove the vanilla pod and whisk in the bourbon. Strain the custard into a clean bowl. Scatter the pumpkin bread cubes in a buttered 9-inch x 13-inch baking glass baking dish. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down on the bread to totally submerge it in the custard. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the custard.

Place the pan in a larger roasting pan and pour hot tap into the roasting pan until it comes half way up the sides of the glass dish. Bake until the sides are slightly puffed and the center jiggles slightly, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and water bath and cool on a baking rack for at least 30 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with spicy caramel apple sauce. Serve warm.

Serving Size

Serves 8


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